Soviet Proposals GERMANY and BERLIN November, 1958 to January, 1959 Soviet Booklet No. 46 6 ° lU ^ 1 LIBRARY UNIVERSITY OF ALBERTA CONTENTS Page Soviet Government Proposes Text of Peace Treaty with Germany—Note to United States Government, January 10, 1959 ... . 3 Draft Peace Treaty with Germany. 9 Soviet Government’s Notes to Britain. United States, and France on the Question of Berlin, November 27, 1958 ... . 18 N. S. Khrushchov’s Press Conference, November 27, 1958 . 30 Soviet Government’s Note to the German Democratic Republic on the Question of Berlin, November 27, 1958 . 36 Soviet Note to the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany on the Question of Berlin, November 27, 1958 . n . 41 N. S. Khrushchov Replies to Questions of West German Correspondent, December 13, 1958 . 47 Statement by Foreign Minister A. Gromyko in U.S.S.R. Supreme Soviet, December 25, 1958 .., . 53 Digitized by the Internet Archive in 2018 with funding from University of Alberta Libraries https://archive.org/details/sovietproposalso46khru SOVIET GOVERNMENT PROPOSES TEXT OF PEACE TREATY WITH GERMANY Note to United States Qovernment on January 10, 1959 T HE Soviet government considers it necessary to draw the attention of the United States government to the com¬ pletely abnormal situation which has developed as a result of the delay in solving one of the most important inter¬ national postwar problems—the conclu¬ sion of a peace treaty with Germany. While peace treaties have long since been concluded with other states which took part in the Second World War on the side of Germany and those states are developing on an independent national basis, the German people still have no peace treaty, a fact which deprives them of the possibility of exercising their state sovereignty to the full and of becoming an equal member of the community of nations. Furthermore, foreign troops still remain on the territory of Germany and an occupation regime is still in force in some parts of Germany, as is the case, for instance, in West Berlin. As a result of procrastination in the peaceful settlement with Germany, many questions affecting the interests, not only of Germany, but also of the countries which took part in the war against Ger¬ many, remain unsolved year after year. The absence of a peace treaty with Ger¬ many seriously complicates the situation in Europe, gives rise to suspicion and mistrust in relations between states, and hampers the normalisation of these rela¬ tions. It should also be pointed out that owing to the absence of a peace treaty, German militarism in Western Germany is again rearing its head and growing stronger. This cannot fail to worry the Soviet people, and also other European peoples on whom militarist Germany has repeatedly inflicted serious calamities and sufferings. A peace treaty promoting the peaceful development of Germany would create the necessary conditions for making im¬ possible a recurrence of the tragic events of the past, when German militarists in¬ volved mankind in devastating wars entailing tremendous human and material losses. Loyal to its commitments with regard to Germany and taking into consideration the lawful interests of the German and other European peoples, the Soviet government has repeatedly approached the governments of the United States, the United Kingdom and France in the postwar years with proposals that a peace treaty with Germany be prepared and concluded. Unfortunately the Soviet pro¬ posals for a peaceful settlement with 3 Germany have not been received favour¬ ably by the western powers which, far from putting forward their own pro¬ posals, have not wanted to discuss this urgent problem seriously. For many years they have been insisting that priority be given to so-called free all- German elections and that the question of the reunification of Germany be tackled, not by the Germans, but by the four former occupation powers. This idea was the gist of the Notes of the western powers of September 30, 1958, to which an exhaustive answer was given in the Notes of the Soviet government on the question of Berlin, dated November 27, 1958. If, instead of wishful thinking, we face the truth as it is, we shall have to admit that the restoration of the unity of Ger¬ many will inevitably have to pass through a number of stages of rapprochement between the German Democratic Repub¬ lic and the Federal Republic of Germany. Now we can only wish to see the beginning of this process, the success of which, however, depends on the efforts of both German states. To evade the preparation of a peace treaty with Germany is to strive for a situation in which the German people will have neither a peace treaty nor a united national state. This would mean preserv¬ ing the existing intolerable situation, creating a possibility for the Federal Republic of Germany to make efforts to impose on the German Democratic Republic an internal system after the former’s own pattern. But in that case the German Democratic Republic would also have the right to raise the question of changing the system and regime exist¬ ing in the Federal Republic of Germany. It is quite clear that this would not help to achieve the national unity of Germany but, on the contrary, would further widen the gap between the two German states. On the other hand, in the present conditions the conclusion of a peace treaty is precisely a measure which could, sooner than anything else, bring the German people closer to the solution of their basic national task—the reunifica¬ tion of the country. Defining in a peace treaty the military status of Germany, and also the external conditions, observ¬ ance of which would safeguard her internal development against any foreign interference, would open up before the German people clear prospects for the future of Germany and would, in many respects, make it easier for the Germans, who are living in two states with different social and economic systems, to search for ways and means of extending con¬ tacts and establishing confidence between them. A peace treaty would provide a good basis for bringing closer together the two German states, for overcoming the deep-going differences which still block the way to the reunification of the country in a single whole. It is only just to point out that since the government of the Federal Republic of Germany has taken a line directed towards remilitarisation and has closely bound up its policy with the plans of the N.A.T.O. military bloc, which are in glaring contradiction with the national interests of Germany, that government bears a considerable part of the respon¬ sibility for the situation obtaining in Germany, including the fact that Ger¬ many still has no peace treaty. If any fresh evidence is needed to prove that the government of the Federal Republic of Germany is pursuing precisely this line, that evidence is provided by the Note of the government of the Federal Republic sent on January 5, 1959, in reply to the Soviet government’s Note on the Berlin question of November 27, 1958. This Note shows that the government of the Federal Republic, instead of assisting ir. the settlement of the Berlin question in the interests of peace in Europe and in the interests of the German nation itself, is going out of its way to stir up passions and to bring the situation with regard to the Berlin question to white heat, in order to ensure the preservation of the occupation regime in West Berlin. There can be no justification for a situation in which the states that took part in the war against Hitler Germany have to wait and remain passive observers in such a serious and urgent matter as the preparation and conclusion of a peace treaty with Germany. These states, 4 which during the war succeeded jn estab¬ lishing close co-operation among them¬ selves, are now in a position to find a common language, in spite of the existing differences, so as to bring the peaceful settlement with Germany to a successful conclusion and ensure, at long last, a peaceful and secure life for the European peoples, including the Germans. The need to solve this task is all the more urgent since a movement in favour of the preparation and conclusion of a peace treaty at the earliest possible date is gathering momentum in both German states—the German Democratic Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany. Proceeding on the basis of the above considerations and being desirous of providing a practical basis for the peace¬ ful settlement with Germany, the Soviet government has drafted a peace treaty and is forwarding it herewith to the government of the United States of America for consideration. Any desire to divide the world into victors and vanquished is alien to the Soviet state, just as are feelings of re¬ venge towards its former enemies in the war. The Soviet draft of the Peace Treaty is based on the idea of Ger¬ many’s peaceful and democratic develop¬ ment. This draft provides for the restoration of the German people’s com¬ plete sovereignty over Germany, her territory and air space. No restrictions are imposed on the development of Germany’s peaceful economy, trade, shipping, or access to world markets. Germany is allowed the right to have her own national armed forces necessary for the country’s defence. All these provisions of the draft give the German people great opportunities for peaceful constructive work and ensure them an equal standing among the other nations of the world. Of course, the draft Treaty provides for certain military restrictions which, the Soviet government is convinced, are in keeping both with the national in¬ terests of the German people who have lived through the havoc of world wars, and with the general interests of peace. The military obligations imposed on Germany include, above all, a ban on the production of nuclear and rocket weapons and on the equipping of the German armed forces with those weapons—a prohibition which would be conducive to the strengthening of the security of Europe and would eliminate one of the main obstacles now standing between the two German states. Of great significance for safeguarding peace in Europe is the provision in the Peace Treaty precluding the possibility of Germany being involved in any mili¬ tary grouping directed against any of the states which were at war with Hitlerite Germany, the members of which do not include all the four principal Allied powers of the anti-Hitler coalition—the U.S.S.R., the United States, Britain and France. The inclusion of this provision in the Treaty would deliver mankind to a considerable extent from the danger of a new war, for no one will deny that this danger is much greater when there is a military alliance of one or a number of great powers with Germany—an alliance directed against another great power. Taking into consideration all that has been said above, the Soviet government proposes that a peace conference be called in Warsaw or Prague to discuss the draft Peace Treaty with Germany that is being put forward, and to work out and sign an agreed text of the Treaty. The conference should be attended, on the one hand, by the governments of the states that took part with their armed forces in the war against Ger¬ many and, on the other hand, by the governments of the German Democratic Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany, which would sign the Peace Treaty on behalf of Germany. If a German Confederation is set up before the Peace Treaty is concluded, the Treaty could be signed, in that case, by representatives of the German Con¬ federation and also the two German states. It goes without saying that the Soviet government recognises the right of the governments of the German Democratic Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany to reach agreement on any appropriate German representation dur- 5 mg the preparation and signing of the Peace Treaty. In putting forward the draft Peace Treaty for Germany, the Soviet govern¬ ment is proceeding on the basis of the fact that the positions of the parties concerned in the German question are now absolutely clear and that it is to¬ day necessary to abandon unnecessary polemics and to get down to working out practical decisions dictated by the situation existing in Germany and by the interests of strengthening peace in Europe. The Soviet government is convinced that the only persons who can remain unsympathetic to the proposal to con¬ clude a peace treaty are those who do not wish the German people well, who want Germany to remain divided and do not want to turn Europe into a continent of lasting peace and security, and those who want it to be, as hitherto, a seat of dangerous tension and cold war fraught with a serious menace to the cause of peace. The Soviet government believes that in addition to the conclusion of a peace treaty, practical steps can be taken, already at the present time, with regard to Berlin, as has already been proposed by the Soviet government, particularly in its Note to the United States govern¬ ment of November 27, 1958. Inasmuch as the United States govern¬ ment has put forward its views on the abovementioned proposals in its Note of December 31, 1958, the Soviet govern¬ ment considers it necessary to state the following in reply to this Note: The period when the Allied govern¬ ments demanded Germany’s compliance with the terms of unconditional sur¬ render has long since become a thing of the past, as has the time when the supreme power in Germany belonged to the commanders-in-chief of the occupa¬ tion troops of the four powers, and when the Control Council still discharged its functions, as well as the “Allied Kom- mandatura” for the joint administration of “Greater Berlin” which it headed. However, one gets the impression that the United States Note has been written as applicable to the first years of Germany’s occupation, without any regard for the great changes which have taken place in Germany during the postwar years. It is entirely permeated by the spirit of that time, by a desire to justify and con¬ firm the “ right of occupation,” although the United States government does recog¬ nise the abnormality of the situation in which, 13 years after the war, Berlin is still living under a system of occupation established in 1945. No one can give credence to argu¬ ments that the stay of American troops in Berlin is justified by the fact that they came there as a result of the Second World War. If we put aside the dead accumula¬ tions of the occupation period and assess the situation soberly, it will become clear that the desire of the United States, Britain and France to preserve their positions in Western Berlin has nothing in common with the consequences of the past war and the postwar agreements which determined Germany’s develop¬ ment as a peaceloving and democratic state. It stems from the new state of affairs arising from the flagrant violation of the aforesaid agreements by the western powers, their abandonment of good allied relations and the reversal of their policy in the direction of worsen¬ ing relations with the U.S.S.R. and whip¬ ping together military blocs. Only those who want to use West Berlin as an instrument for hostile activity against the Soviet Union, the German Democratic Republic and the countries which are their friends, as an instrument for further aggravating the existing contradictions and increasing international tension, can now come out in favour of perpetuating the present situation in Berlin. Continuing the existing situation in West Berlin means preserving the danger of the cold war turning into a third world war, with all the grave conse¬ quences for the peoples ensuing from this. In these conditions no one can expect the Soviet Union to prop up with its own hands the occupation regime in West Berlin. The occupation, which was under¬ standable and necessary directly after 6 the defeat of Hitler Germany, inasmuch as it led to the remoulding of German political life on peaceloving and demo¬ cratic lines, now has the purpose of covering up, above all, the turning of West Berlin into a N.A.T.O. stronghold in the heart of the German Democratic Republic. The United States Note recalls the 1944 and 1945 Allied agreements on Berlin, and what is more, it interprets these agreements as though they do not depend on the Potsdam agreements and still give the western powers a right to keep their troops in West Berlin. We cannot agree with this interpretation, because it is at variance with the univer¬ sally known facts and the commitments assumed by the powers with regard to Germany. Berlin’s quadripartite status did not originate and exist independently of all the other Allied agreements on Germany; it was wholly intended to fulfil the basic purposes of the occupation of Germany in the initial postwar period—purposes laid down in the Potsdam agreements. Having embarked upon the road of re¬ arming Western Germany and drawing her into their military grouping, the United States, the United Kingdom and France have flagrantly violated the Pots¬ dam Agreement and have thereby for¬ feited all legal rights to the perpetuation of Berlin’s present status, as well as to the occupation of Germany in general. The Soviet Union has always observed, and continues to observe its inter¬ national commitments, including those on Germany. Moreover no one can reproach the Soviet Union for not hav¬ ing served warning when the western powers scrapped one Allied agreement after another, driving Western Germany on to the road of militarism and revanchism. If the three western powers had honoured the Potsdam Agreement as the Soviet Union did, and had abided by their undertakings under this agreement, we can say with confidence that there would have been no Berlin question now, and no German problem in general, because those questions would have been solved to the benefit of the German people and in the interests of European peace. The quadripartite agreements on Ber¬ lin, as well as on Germany as a whole, are of a provisional nature, valid only for the period of the occupation of Ger¬ many. The occupation, however, is over. The Soviet Union, the United States, the United Kingdom, France and the other states have announced the ending of the state of war with Ger¬ many. In view of this the contentions of the United States Note about certain rights to continue the occupation are obviously without foundation. In the light of the above facts it is easy to understand that the Soviet Union does not mean a unilateral denunciation of the agreements on Berlin, as the governments of the three western powers are attempting to matce out, but is only trying to draw a logical conclusion from the existing situation—a situation char¬ acterised by the ending of the occupa¬ tion of Germany and the flagrant viola¬ tion by the western powers of the com¬ mitments they assumed at the end of the war. In its Note the United States govern¬ ment declares that the western powers have obtained their rights in Berlin also because they “ permitted ” the Soviet Union to occupy certain areas of Ger¬ many which were taken by the American and British troops in the course of the war. These contentions are nothing but a crude distortion of the facts. It is well known that agreement on the occupation zones was reached during the war when it was difficult to foresee whose troops would reach those zones first. At the same time it is necessary to recall that when the war ended in Europe there were Soviet troops, not only in Ger¬ many, but on the territories of many other countries as well—Austria, for in¬ stance. However, the Soviet Union has never raised the question of compensa¬ tion for the withdrawal of its troops from those territories, nor did it demand any concessions for the admission of Allied troops into areas occupied by the Soviet forces—Vienna, for instance—be¬ cause to make such claims would be 7 tantamount to unseemly bargaining over the territories of other nations. It is amazing therefore that the United States government permits such an approach to a country like Germany. The United States government declares that it could agree to discuss the Berlin question at broader talks on the solu¬ tion of thp German problem, including the unification of Germany and the question of European security. The Soviet government has repeatedly pointed out that there can be no meet¬ ings of the four powers to discuss the question of the unification of Germany, because this question is outside the com¬ petence of the U.S.S.R., the United States, Britain and France. The four-power negotiations on the unity of Germany were quite lawful during the occupation, when these powers were discharging administrative and control functions in Germany. Now, however, when the occupation is a thing of the past and two independent German states have taken shape on the territory of Germany, the question of the reunifi¬ cation of Germany has become an in¬ ternal German problem which can be solved only through rapprochement and agreement between these states. As regards the problem of European security, the Soviet government attaches tremendous importance to its solution. It has repeatedly made proposals for establishing a system of measures to ensure European security. Suffice it to recall such proposals as those for con¬ cluding a non-aggression agreement be¬ tween the states signatories to the North Atlantic Pact and the Warsaw Treaty, for the withdrawal of foreign troops from the territory of Europe, and also the support given by the Soviet govern¬ ment to the Polish proposal for estab¬ lishing an atom-free zone in Central Europe. The Soviet government is convinced that the problem of European security calls for a special discussion and cannot be lumped together with other questions, including the Berlin issue. Incidentally, the United States govern¬ ment, in its Note, has not said a single word about ways and means of ensuring European security such as would be acceptable to all the states concerned. In such circumstances no one can avoid getting the impression that the United States government is obviously trying to hamper agreed decisions on the Berlin question and European security by mak¬ ing the solutions to these questions dependent on each other. The Soviet government is trying to settle the Berlin question through nego¬ tiations among the states concerned. It is convinced that its proposal for making West Berlin a demilitarised free city provides a sound basis for agreement, since it is in line with the general inter¬ ests of consolidating peace in Europe. At the same time the implementation of the Soviet proposal does not prejudice the prestige or encroach on the security interests of any state, nor does it grant any unilateral advantages to anyone. It goes without saying that the Soviet government in no way regards its pro¬ posal for a free city of West Berlin as precluding any addenda or amendments. It is willing to consider proposals on this question put forward by other powers, provided these proposals are directed towards ending the occupation regime in West Berlin and towards con¬ solidating peace in Europe. Refusal by the western powers to enter into negotiations with the Soviet Union with a view to normalising the situation in, Berlin naturally will not make the Soviet Union stop halfway towards a goal which has been set by life itself and which ensures the stability of the situation and tranquillity in the centre of Europe. No one can prevent the Soviet Union from renouncing its functions with regard to Berlin and its communications with Western Germany and from settling the questions arising therefrom through an agreement with the German Democratic Republic. To sum up what has been said above, the Soviet government, in addition to its proposal for convening a peace confer¬ ence, suggests that the states concerned should discuss the Berlin question as well. If the western powers find it desirable to exchange views with the Soviet Union on the contents of the Peace Treaty prior to the convocation of 8 the peace conference, the Soviet govern¬ ment will be agreeable. In that case it will be necessary to ensure adequate participation of the German Democratic Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany as states directly interested in the conclusion of a peace treaty with Germany. The Soviet government expresses the hope that the government of the United States of America will study with due attention the proposals submitted and the draft Peace Treaty with Germany forwarded herewith, and, for its part, it will exert every effort to enable the peace conference to accomplish its im¬ portant task successfully. At the same time the Soviet govern¬ ment would like to believe that the government of the United States, recog¬ nising that the preservation of the occu¬ pation regime in West Berlin is abnor¬ mal, will draw the necessary conclusions from the existing situation and will assist in settling the question of Berlin as is demanded by the interests of strengthen¬ ing peace in Europe and throughout the world. Moscow. January 10, 1959. DRAFT PEACE TREATY WITH GERMANY T HE Union of Soviet Socialist Repub¬ lics, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the United States of America, the French Republic, Australia, the People’s Republic of Albania, Belgium, the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, the People’s Republic of Bulgaria, Brazil, the Hungarian People’s Republic, Greece, Denmark, India, Italy, Canada, the Chinese People’s Republic, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, the Polish People’s Republic, the Rumanian People’s Republic, the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, Finland, the Czecho¬ slovak Republic, the Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia and the Union of South Africa, as states which took part with their armed forces in the war against Germany, and hereinafter referred to as “the Allied and Associated Powers,” of the one part, And Germany, now represented by the German Democratic Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany (or in the event of a German Confederation being set up by the time the Peace Treaty is signed—the German Confederation, and also the German Democratic Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany), of the other part; Noting that there is no further justifica¬ tion for the continuation of the pro¬ foundly abnormal situation in which, years after the ending of hostilities, foreign troops remain on the territory of Germany and the German nation is still deprived of the right to exercise fully its state sovereignty and to maintain equal relations with the other states, and is outside the United Nations ; Guided by the desire to implement in the prevailing conditions the principal proposition stipulated by the documents of the anti-Hitlerite coalition and parti¬ cularly the Potsdam Agreement; Believing that the absence of a peaceful settlement precludes a just approach to the legitimate national interests of the German people and is largely conducive to the aggravation of tension and instability in Europe ; Being unanimous in their intention to make a final reckoning of the war unleashed by Hitler Germany, a war which brought incalculable sufferings and calamities to many people, including the German nation ; Recognising that during the years since the ending of hostilities the German people have proved in many ways that they condemn the crimes committed against the peoples of Europe as a result of the aggression unleashed by German militarism ; Fully resolved never to allow Germany to threaten its neighbours or other nations, or to unleash a new war ; 9 Desirous of giving Germany an oppor¬ tunity to develop along peaceful and democratic lines and to co-operate fruit¬ fully with other states as an equal mem¬ ber of the comity of nations ; Convinced that the conclusion of a peace treaty would be of exceptionally great significance for ensuring Europe’s security and the consolidation of world peace; PART I POLITICAL AND TERRITORIAL CLAUSES Holding that the conclusion of a peace treaty with Germany is a necessary and important step towards the restoration of Germany’s national unity, Have decided to conclude the present Peace Treaty and have therefore appointed the undersigned Plenipoten¬ tiaries who, having communicated their Full Powers, found in good and due form, have agreed on the following provisions : 1. Peace and Peaceful Relations ARTICLE 1 The Allied and Associated Powers, of the one part, and Germany, of the other part, declare and confirm the ending of the state of war and the establishment of peaceful relations between them, and moreover, all the ensuing political and juridical consequences take effect as from the entry into force of an appropriate statement or declaration by each of the Allied and Associated Powers. ARTICLE 2 Until Germany is reunited in this or other form, the present Treaty shall mean by the term “ Germany ” the two exist¬ ing German states—the German Demo¬ cratic Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany, and all Germany’s rights and obligations stipulated in it shall be equally binding on the German Demo¬ cratic Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany. ARTICLE 3 The Allied and Associated Powers undertake to recognise the German people’s full sovereignty over Germany, including its territorial waters and air space. ARTICLE 4 1. The Allied and Associated Powers declare that they will cultivate their relations with Germany on the principles of respect for Germany’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, non-interference in its home affairs, non-aggression, equality and mutual benefit, and in accordance with the provisions of the present Treaty, in its relations with all countries Germany shall be guided by the same principles. 2. Germany commits itself to solve all international disputes only by peaceful means so as not to endanger international peace and security. Germany also pledges itself to refrain from the threat of force in international relations or its use against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, and not to give aid or support to any nation or group of nations violating inter¬ national peace and security. ARTICLE 5 1. Germany assumes a commitment not to enter any military alliances directed against any of the powers parties to the present treaty, and also not to take part in any military alliances whose membership does not include all the four principal Allied Powers of the anti- Hitlerite coalition—the U.S.S.R., the United States, the United Kingdom and France. 2. The Allied and Associated Powers undertake to respect Germany’s obliga¬ tion not to take part in the military alliances mentioned in Point 1 and refrain from any actions with regard to Germany liable to entail a direct or indirect breach 10 of this commitment by it. 3. The Allied and Associated Powers will do everything possible to let Ger¬ many take part, on an equal footing, in measures to strengthen all-European security and the establishment of a security system in Europe based on the joint efforts of the European nations. 4. With the entry into force of this Treaty, Germany—the German Demo¬ cratic Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany—will be freed from the obli¬ gations arising from membership of the Warsaw Treaty Organisation and the North Atlantic and West European Unions respectively. ARTICLE 6 Germany undertakes to recognise the full force of the Peace Treaties with Bulgaria, Hungary, Italy, Rumania and Finland. ARTICLE 7 After the entry into force of the present Treaty, the Allied and Associated Powers shall support Germany’s application for admittance to the United Nations. 2. Frontiers ARTICLE 8 The frontiers of Germany shall be those existing on January 1, 1959. Germany’s frontiers are shown on the map appended to the present Treaty (Supplement No. 1). Until Germany is united in one state, the territories of the German Democratic Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany are delimited by the line exist¬ ing on January 1, 1959, as shown on the map appended to the Treaty (Supplement No. 1). ARTICLE 9 In conformity with the Potsdam Agree¬ ment of 1945 : (a) Germany renounces all its rights and legal and other claims to the former German territories east of the line run¬ ning from the Baltic Sea, slightly to the west of Swinemunde, along the River Oder to its confluence with the Western Neisse, and along the Western Neisse to the Czechoslovak frontier, including the territory of former East Prussia and also the territory of the former City of Danzig which have now passed under the sovereignty of the Polish People’s Repub¬ lic, which Germany recognises. (b) Germany renounces its rights and legal and other claims to the former City of Koenigsberg and the adjacent area which have passed under the sovereignty of the Union of Soviet Socialist Repub¬ lics, which Germany recognises. ARTICLE 10 Germany recognises as invalid the Munich Agreement with all the con¬ sequences arising from it and declares that it will always recognise the former so-called Sudeten region as an integral part of the national territory of the Czechoslovak Republic. ARTICLE 11 Germany undertakes to recognise that the territory of Alsace-Lorraine is a part of the French Republic. The Saar fegion remains within the territory of Germany. ARTICLE 12 Germany confirms and recognises the changes and delimitation of its frontiers, effected according to the agreements con¬ cluded with the neighbouring countries in the period from May, 1945, to January 1, 1959. 3. Germany and Austria ARTICLE 13 1. Germany undertakes to recognise the full force of the State Treaty re¬ establishing an independent and demo¬ cratic Austria of May 15, 1955, and the prohibition of an anschluss contained in it. 2. In conformity with this, Germany shall respect the sovereignty and indepen¬ dence of Austria and renounces all terri¬ torial and political claims to Austria and Austrian territory. 3. Germany undertakes to recognise, and pledges itself to respect, the perma¬ nent neutrality of Austria as it is laid down by the Federal Constitutional Law of Austria adopted by the Austrian Parliament on October 26, 1955. 4. In order to prevent an anschluss it is prohibited to conclude any political or economic alliance between Germany and Austria. Germany fully recognises its responsibility in this question and shall not enter into a political or economic 11 alliance with Austria in any form what¬ soever. Germany must not conclude any agreements with Austria, undertake any actions or carry out any measures directly or indirectly promoting its political and economic alliance with Austria, or jeopardising the territorial, integrity, or political or economic inde¬ pendence of Austria. Germany further pledges itself not to allow any actions on its territory directly or indirectly pro¬ moting such an alliance, and is to preclude the existence, revival or activity of any organisations pursuing the aim of estab¬ lishing a political or economic alliance with Austria, and propaganda in favour of an alliance with Austria. 4. Basic Human Rights and Freedoms ARTICLE 14 1. Germany shall take all measures necessary to secure to all persons under German jurisdiction, without distinction as to race, sex, language, religion, nationality, origin or political convic¬ tions, the enjoyment of human rights and of the fundamental freedoms, including personal freedom, freedom of expression, of the press and publication, of religious worship, of political opinion, of associa¬ tion and political meetings. 2. Germany also undertakes that the laws in force on its territory shall not, either in their content or in their applica¬ tion, discriminate or entail any dis¬ crimination between German nationals on the grounds of their race, sex, language, religion, nationality, origin, political convictions or party affiliation, whether in reference to their persons, property, business, professional or finan¬ cial interests, status, political or civil rights, or any other matters. 3. Past membership by any German national of the National-Socialist Party or organisations affiliated to it or under its control cannot be regarded as a reason for restricting the rights and freedoms stipulated in Point 1, if this is not done on the basis of a court ruling. 4. Persons of German nationality moved to Germany from other countries in conformity with the decisions of the 1945 Potsdam Conference enjoy on the territory of Germany all the rights mentioned in Point 1 without any dis¬ crimination, as equal German nationals. ARTICLE 15 The German authorities or nationals are prohibited from persecuting any person on the grounds that during the Second World War he acted in favour of the Allied and Associated Powers or expressed sympathy for their cause, as well as on the grounds that prior to the entry into force of the present Treaty this person committed actions facilitating the fulfilment of the joint decisions of the U.S.S.R., the United States, the United Kingdom and France on Germany, or any of the proclamations, injunctions, ordinances and instructions issued on the strength of these decisions. 5. Political Parties and Other Organisations ARTICLE 16 Germany undertakes to ensure un¬ hampered activity to political parties and other organisations with the exception of parties and organisations mentioned in Articles 13, 17 and 18, and to give them the right to manage their internal affairs freely, to hold congresses and meetings, to enjoy freedom of the press and publication. ARTICLE 17 Germany undertakes not to allow, under threat of penal punishment, the revival, existence and activity of the National-Socialist Party and organisations affiliated to it or under its control on German territory, including political, military and para-military organisations, as well as the emergence and activity of other similar parties and organisations and, particularly, revanchist parties and organisations demanding a revision of Germany’s frontiers or making territorial claims on other states. ARTICLE 18 Germany assumes the commitment to dissolve and not to allow, under threat of penal punishment, the existence and 12 activity on its territory of any organisa¬ tions, including emigre bodies, which con¬ duct hostile activity against any of the Allied and Associated Powers. Germany shall not grant political asylum to persons affiliated to the afore¬ mentioned organisations. 6. Other Clauses ARTICLE 19 Germany undertakes to recognise the ruling of the International War Tribunal in Nuremburg and the rulings of other courts on crimes stipulated by the Charter of this Tribunal and committed either inside or outside Germany. ARTICLE 20 Germany undertakes not to allow in any form propaganda having the purpose of, or being capable of creating or increasing a threat to peace, a violation of peace or an act of aggression, including war propaganda and also any kind of revanchist statements demanding a revision of the German frontiers or making territorial claims on other countries. ARTICLE 21 1. Germany undertakes to give all-out support to the repatriation of the nationals of the Allied and Associated Powers who came to be on German territory as a result of the war. 2. For their part the Allied and Associated Powers will render similar assistance, in cases in which this has still not been done, to the repatriation of German nationals who came to be on the territories of the Allied and Associated Powers as a result of the war. 3. The Allied Powers assume the commitment, if it has not been done earlier, to repatriate within six months after the Treaty enters into force all Ger¬ man specialists forcibly moved from Germany during the war and after its conclusion. The provision of this Article do not affect persons who left Germany at their own discretion. PART II CLAUSES ON THE RE-ESTABLISHMENT OF THE UNITY OF QERMANY ARTICLE 22 The Allied and Associated Powers recognise the right of the German people to the restoration of the unity of Germany and express their readiness to render both German states all-out assistance in reaching this goal on the basis of rapprochement and agreement between the German Democratic Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany. Both German states, as well as the Allied and Associated Powers, regard this Treaty as an important contribution to the cause of the reunification of Germany in accordance with the national aspira¬ tions of the German people and with the interests of ensuring security in Europe and throughout the world. ARTICLE 23 In view of the fact that any attempt to settle the question of the reunification of Germany by means of force would be fraught with the danger of war, entailing incalculable calamities for the peoples of Europe, and for the German people in the first place, the German Democratic Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany solemnly undertake never to resort to force or to the threat of force for achieving the unification of Germany and will settle by peaceful means any disputes that may arise in the relations between them. ARTICLE 24 After the restoration of Germany’s unity the present Treaty shall remain in force and its provisions shall apply to the united German state. ARTICLE 25 Pending the restoration of Germany’s unity and the establishment of a united German state, West Berlin shall have the standing of a demilitarised free city with its special status. 13 PART III MILITARY CLAUSES ARTICLE 26 Germany shall have its national armed forces (land, air and naval) necessary for the defence of the country. ARTICLE 27 The following persons shall not be permitted to serve in the German armed forces: (a) Persons convicted by the courts of the countries which were at war with Germany or by German courts for their crimes against peace and humanity and for war crimes; (b) Persons who are not German nationals; (c) Persons not of German nationality who found themselves on the territory of Germany during or after the end of the war, irrespective of the fact of whether or not they subsequently became Ger¬ man citizens. ARTICLE 28 Germany shall not have, produce, acquire or experiment with: (a) Any types of nuclear weapons or other means of mass destruction, including biological and chemical weapons; (b) Any types of rockets and guided missiles, as well as apparatus and instal¬ lations necessary for their launching or guiding; (c) Aircraft designed mainly as bombers with bomb and shell racks; (d) Submarines. ARTICLE 29 Germany shall not have, produce or acquire war materials and equipment, either publicly or privately, or in any other way, or maintain production facili¬ ties for their manufacture in excess of the quantity necessary for equipping the armed forces permitted by Article 26 of the present Treaty, nor shall it export from the territory of Germany to other countries any war materials and equip¬ ment. ARTICLE 30 All foreign troops now stationed in Germany are to be withdrawn from Germany not later than within one year after the coming into force of the present Treaty. (Or: After the coming into force of the present Treaty all foreign troops now stationed in Germany shall be withdrawn from Germany within time limits to be agreed upon by the parties concerned so that within six months of the coming into force of the Treaty the numerical strength of foreign troops stationed on German territory shall be reduced by one-third). Simultaneously with the withdrawal of foreign troops from Germany, all foreign military bases on German territory shall be closed down. In the future Germany shall not permit the stationing of any bases on its territory. ARTICLE 31 Germany undertakes to respect, pre¬ serve and maintain the graves on German territory of the soldiers, prisoners of war and nationals forcibly taken to Germany of the powers which were at war with Germany, the memorials and emblems on these graves, and the memorials to the military glory of the armies which fought against Hitlerite Germany. The Allied and Associated Powers undertake, for their part, to ensure the maintenance of the marked graves of German soldiers on their territories. PART IV ECONOMIC CLAUSES ARTICLE 32 No restrictions shall be imposed on Germany in the development of its peaceful econmy, which is to promote the welfare of the German people. Nor shall Germany be in any way restricted with regard to its trade with other countries, navigation and access to world markets. 14 ARTICLE 33 After the withdrawal of foreign troops from German territory any German property which is being used by the armed forces of foreign states on the territory of Germany and for which no compensation has been paid shall be restored to its owners or adequate com¬ pensation shall be paid. ARTICLE 34 1. In so far as such action has not already been taken, Germany shall restore all legal rights and interests in Germany of the Allied and Associated Powers and their nationals as they existed on September 1, 1939, and for the Czechoslovak Republic and its citi¬ zens—on September 30, 1938, and return all property of the Allied and Associated Powers and their nationals or pay com¬ pensation for it. The order and terms of the implementation of the provisions of the present Article shall be determined by special agreements between Germany and the states concerned. “ Property ” means movable or im¬ movable property, whether tangible or intangible, including industrial, literary and artistic property, as well as all rights and interests of any kind in the property. 2. The existence of the state of war in itself shall not be regarded as affecting the obligation to pay pecuniary debts arising out of obligations and contracts that existed prior to the state of war. 3. Germany undertakes to permit no discrimination with regard to the satis¬ faction of claims to compensation for the damage sustained by nationals of the Allied and Associated Powers, irrespec¬ tive of the nature of the compensation due or of the organisation or institution which is to satisfy the claim. ARTICLE 35 Germany shall recognise the rights of any Allied or Associated Power to German assets in other countries trans¬ ferred to this Power on the strength of agreements between the U.S.S.R., the United States, the United Kingdom and France. Germany shall recognise the decisions with regard to the German assets in Austria as contained in the State Treaty on the re-establishment of an indepen¬ dent and democratic Austria. ARTICLE 36 1. Germany waives all claims of any description against the Allied and Asso¬ ciated Powers and their organisations and nationals on behalf of Germany, German organisations and nationals, claims arising directly out of the war or out of the actions taken because of the existence of a state of war in Europe after September 1, 1939, whether or not such an Allied or an Associated Power was at war with Germany at the time. This renunciation of claims includes the following: (a) Claims for losses or damage sustained as a consequence of acts of the armed forces or authorities of the Allied or Associated Powers ; (b) Claims arising from the presence, operations or actions of the armed forces or authorities of the Allied or Associated Powers on German territory. (c) Claims with respect to the decrees or orders of prize courts of the Allied or Associated Powers, Germany agreeing to accept as valid and binding all decrees and orders of such prize courts after September 1, 1939, concerning German sea-going or river vessels or German goods or concerning the payment of costs. (d) Claims arising out of the exercise or purported exercise of belligerent rights. 2. The waiving of claims by Ger¬ many under Paragraph 1 of this article includes any claims arising out of the actions taken by any of the Allied or Associated Powers with respect to German sea-going or river vessels after September 1, 1939, as well as any claims and debts arising out of the conventions on prisoners of war now in force. 3. The provisions of this Article shall bar, completely and finally, all claims of the nature referred to herein, which shall henceforth be extinguished, who¬ ever may be the parties interested. The German government agrees to make equitable compensation in marks to persons who furnished supplies or services on requisition to the forces of Allied or Associated Powers on German territory and in satisfaction of non¬ combat damage claims against the forces of the Allied or Associated Powers arising on German territory. ARTICLE 37 Germany likewise waives all public claims, all the claims of German public juridical persons and the claims of German private juridical persons and German nationals with regard to the territories which were returned to other states and placed under their jurisdiction. ARTICLE 38 The states which now have under their jurisdiction a part of the former German territory bear no responsibility for the obligations arising out of the debts of the German state, German municipalities and German public insti¬ tutions, or for any other public juridical and private juridical questions which arose prior to May 8, 1945, and are connected with this territory. ARTICLE 39 1. Germany agrees to enter into negotiations with any Allied or Associ¬ ated Power and conclude treaties or agreements on trade and shipping, granting every Allied and Associated Power most favoured nation treatment on a reciprocal basis. 2. Germany shall not permit any discrimination or artificial restrictions in anything that concerns its trade with Allied and Associated Powers. The Allied and Associated Powers, for their part, shall adhere to the same principle in their trade with Germany. 3. Germany shall not grant any exclusive or discriminatory right to any country with regard to the use of com¬ mercial aircraft for international communications within Germany’s frontiers; Germany shall grant the Allied and Associated Powers, on a reciprocal basis, equal possibilities in obtaining rights on German territory in the sphere of international commercial aviation, including the right to land for refuelling and repairs. These provisions should not affect the interests of the national defence of Germany. ARTICLE 40 Germany undertakes to grant Austria the right of free transit and communi¬ cations without levying customs duties and tariffs between Salzburg and Lofer (Salzburg) via Reichenhall-Steinpach and between Scharnitz (Tyrol) and Ehrwald (Tyrol) via Garmisch-Partenkirchen. PART V REPARATIONS AND RESTITUTIONS ARTICLE 41 The question of the payment of reparations by Germany in compensation for the damage it inflicted on the Allied and Associated Powers during the war is regarded as fully settled and the Allied and Associated Powers waive any claim against Germany as regards further reparation payments. ARTICLE 42 In so far as Germany has not already done so, Germany undertakes to return in good order all the objects of artistic, historical or archaeological value which constitute part of the cultural assets of the Allied and Associated Powers and were forcibly or under coercion trans¬ ported from their territories to Germany. Claims for restitution of the afore¬ mentioned objects can be presented within 12 months from the coming into force of the present Treaty. Germany shall also transfer to the states to which parts of former German territory were returned or placed under their jurisdiction, all historical, juridical, administrative and technical archives together with maps and plans concern¬ ing these territories. 16 PART VI FINAL CLAUSES ARTICLE 43 With the coming into force of the present Peace Treaty Germany shall be freed of all obligations under inter¬ national treaties and agreements which were concluded by the government of the German Democratic Republic and the government of the Federal Republic of Germany prior to the coming into force of the present Treaty and which are in contradiction with the provisions of the Peace Treaty. ARTICLE 44 Any dispute concerning the interpre¬ tation or execution of the Treaty which is not settled by direct diplomatic negotiations or in any other way by agreement between the parties to the dispute, shall be referred to a com¬ mission composed of representatives of the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, France, the German Democratic Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany. Any such dispute not resolved by the com¬ mission for the settlement of this dispute within a period of two months shall, unless the parties to the dispute mutually agree upon another means of settlement, be referred to a commission composed of one representative of each party and a third member, selected by mutual agreement of the two parties from nationals of a third country. ARTICLE 45 1. The present Treaty shall be ratified and come into force immediately the instruments of ratification are deposited by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, by the United States of America, by France and Germany. With respect to every country which will subsequently ratify the present Treaty or accede to it, the Treaty will come into force upon the depositing of the instruments of ratification or accession by this state. 2. If the Treaty does not come into force within 10 months after the date of the depositing of Germany’s instru¬ ments of ratification, any state which has ratified it may enforce the Treaty between itself and Germany by notifying Germany and the depositary state thereof within three years from the date of the depositing of the instruments of ratifica¬ tion by Germany. ARTICLE 46 Any state which was at war with Germany and is not a signatory to the present Treaty may accede to the Treaty. ARTICLE 47 The Treaty will grant no legal or other rights or advantages to states which do not become signatories to the present Treaty and no legal or other rights or interests of Germany shall be regarded as infringed by any provisions of the present Treaty in favour of such states. ARTICLE 48 The present Treaty as well as all instruments of ratification and accession shall be deposited with the government of -- which shall furnish certified copies to each of the signatory or acceding states and inform these states of all further ratifications and accessions. In witness whereof the undersigned Plenipotentiaries have signed the present Treaty and have affixed thereto their seals. Done in -— in the Russian, English, French and German languages, with all texts being equally authentic. 17 SOVIET GOVERNMENT’S NOTES TO BRITAIN, USA AND FRANCE ON THE QUESTION OF BERLIN Text of Note to United States (government on November 271958 T HE government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics is addres¬ sing the government of the United States of America, as one of the powers that signed the Potsdam Agreement, on the urgent question of the status of Berlin. The question of Berlin, which lies in the centre of the German Democratic Republic but the western part of which is severed from the German Democratic Republic as a consequence of foreign occupation, profoundly affects not only the national interests of the German people but also the interests of all peoples wishing to establish a lasting peace in Europe. There, in the historic capital of Germany, two worlds are in direct contact and barricades of the “ cold war ” exist at every step. A situ¬ ation of constant friction and tension has prevailed for many years in the city, which is divided into two parts. Berlin, which witnessed the greatest triumph of the joint struggle of our countries against fascist aggression, has now become a dangerous centre of contradictions between the great powers which were allies in the last war. Its role in the relations between the powers can be com¬ pared with a slow-burning fuse leading to a barrel of gunpowder. Incidents arising there, even if they seem to be of local significance, in a situation of heated passions, suspicion and mutual appre¬ hension may cause a conflagration which it will be difficult to put out. This is the dismal finale, reached after 13 postwar years, to the once joint, con¬ certed policy of the four powers—the U.S.S.R., the United States, the United Kingdom and France—towards Germany. In order to assess correctly the real importance of the Berlin problem con¬ fronting us today and in order to deter¬ mine the possibilities available for normalising the situation in Berlin, it is necessary to recall the development of the policy towards Germany of the powers which were parties to the anti- Hitler coalition. It is common knowledge that it was not by any means immediately that the United States, or the United Kingdom and France either, drew the conclusion that it was necessary to establish co-oper¬ ation with the Soviet Union with the aim of resisting Hitler aggression, though the Soviet government constantly displayed willingness for this. In the capitals of the western states opposite tendencies prevailed for a long time and they became most obvious in the period of the Munich deal with Hitler. Entertaining the hope of taming German militarism and pushing it eastward, the governments 18 of the western powers tolerated and en¬ couraged the policy of blackmail and threats pursued by Hitler and acts of direct aggression by nazi Germany and its ally, fascist Italy, against a number of peaceloving states. It was only when fascist Germany, up¬ setting the shortsighted calculations of the inspirers of Munich, turned against the western powers, and when the nazi army began moving westward, crushing Denmark, Norway, Belgium and the Netherlands and breaking the back of France, that the governments of the United States and the United Kingdom had no alternative but to acknowledge their miscalculations and take the road of organising, jointly with the Soviet Union, resistance to fascist Germany, Italy and Japan. Given a more far¬ sighted policy on the part of the western powers, such co-operation between the Soviet Union, the United States, the United Kingdom and France could have been established much earlier, in the first years after Hitler seized power in Ger¬ many, and then there would have been no occupation of France, no Dunkirk and no Pearl Harbour. In that case it would have been possible to save the millions of human fives which were sacrificed by the peoples of the Soviet Union, Poland, Yugoslavia, France, Britain, Czecho¬ slovakia, the United States, Greece, Nor¬ way and other countries in order to curb the aggressors. The creation of the anti-Hitler coalition was an event unprecedented in modern history, if only because states with differ¬ ing social systems united in a defensive, just war against the common enemy. The Soviet government greatly appre¬ ciates the co-operation of the countries— co-operation which took shape in the struggle against fascism and was sealed by the blood of the freedom-loving peoples. The Soviet people would like to preserve and develop the sentiments of trust and friendship which marked their relations with the peoples of the of the United States, the United King¬ dom, France and the other countries of the anti-Hitler coalition during the stern years of the last war. When the peoples were celebrating vic¬ tory over Hitler Germany, a conference was held in Potsdam between the heads of government of the Soviet Union, the United States and the United Kingdom in order to work out a joint policy to¬ wards postwar Germany. The Potsdam Agreement, to which France acceded soon after its signing, generalised the historical experience of the struggle waged by the peoples to prevent aggres¬ sion by German militarism. The whole content of that agreement was directed towards creating conditions that would exclude the possibility of an attack by Germany—not for the first time—on peaceloving states, towards preventing the German militarists from unleashing another world war, towards Germany— having abandoned forever the mirage of a policy of conquest—firmly taking the road of peaceful development. Expressing the will of the peoples who made incalculable sacrifices for the sake of smashing the Hitler aggressors, the governments of the four powers solemnly pledged themselves to extirpate German militarism and nazism, to prevent for¬ ever their resurgence and to take all measures to ensure that Germany would never again threaten her neighbours or the preservation of world peace. The participants in the Potsdam Conference expressed their 'determination to prevent any fascist and militarist activity or propaganda. They also pledged them¬ selves to permit and encourage all democratic political parties in Germany. With the aim of destroying the economic foundations of German militarism, it was resolved to eliminate the excessive concentration in the economy of Ger¬ many, represented in the form of cartels, syndicates, trusts and other monopoly organisations which had ensured the assumption of power by fascism and the preparation and carrying out of Hitler aggression. The Potsdam Agreement contained important provisions whereby Germany was to be regarded as a single economic whole during the occupation period. The agreement also provided for the setting up of central German administrative departments. The Council of Foreign Ministers, set up by decision of the Pots- 19 dam Conference, was instructed to pre¬ pare a peace settlement for Germany. The implementation of all these measures should have enabled the German people to effect a fundamental reconstruction of their life and to ensure the establishment of a united, peace- loving and democratic German state. Such are the main provisions of the Potsdam Agreement, which ensured a just combination of the interests both of the peoples who had fought against Germany and the fundamental interests of the German people themselves, and at the same time created a sound foundation for carrying through a concerted policy of the four powers on the German question, and con¬ sequently, for extensive and fruitful co¬ operation among them on European questions in general. However, further developments did not follow the course laid down at Potsdam. The relations between the U.S.S.R. and the three western powers increasingly deteriorated and there was a growth of mutual distrust and sus¬ picion, which have now already developed into unfriendly relations. The Soviet government sincerely hoped that after the victorious war it would be quite possible, notwithstanding all the inevitability of ideological differences, to continue the fruitful co-operation among the great powers that headed the anti- Hitler coalition, on the basis of sober recognition of the situation created by the war. The policy of the western powers, however, was increasingly influenced by forces hating socialist and communist ideas, but concealing, during the war, their schemes hostile to the Soviet Union. As a result, a course was set in the West towards the utmost sharpen¬ ing of the ideological struggle headed by aggressive leaders, opponents of peaceful co-existence between states. The signal for this was given to the United States and other western countries by Winston Churchill in his notorious Fulton speech in March 1946. The conflict between two ideologies—a struggle of minds and convictions—in itself could not have done any special harm to the relations between states. The ideological struggle has never died down and it will continue, inasmuch as different views are held on the system of society. But the pronouncements of Winston Churchill and his associates unfortunately influenced the minds of other western statesmen, which had the most regrettable consequences. Govern¬ ment agencies and armed forces joined in the heated ideological struggle. The results are universally known: instead of an expansion of co-operation between the main great powers, the world was split into antagonistic military groupings and competition began in the manu¬ facture and stockpiling of atomic and hydrogen weapons—in other words, war preparations were launched. The Soviet government deeply regrets that events took such a turn, since this prejudices the cause of peace and is contrary to the natural desire of the peoples for peaceful co-existence and friendly co-operation. There was a time when leaders of the United States and the United Kingdom, and in parti¬ cular Franklin D. Roosevelt, the out¬ standing statesman of America, reflect¬ ing these sentiments of the mass of the people, proclaimed the necessity of set¬ ting up a system of mutual relations between states under which the peoples would feel secure and men and women everywhere could live all their lives knowing no fear. The relations of the United States, and also of the United Kingdom and France, with the Soviet Union took a particularly sharp turn when those powers began carrying through in Germany a policy contrary to the Potsdam Agreement. The first violation of the Potsdam Agreement was the refusal of the governments of the United States, the United Kingdom and France to honour their commitments under this agreement regarding the trans¬ fer to the Soviet Union of the agreed amount of industrial equipment from Western Germany as partial compensa¬ tion for the destruction and damage inflicted on the national economy of the U.S.S.R. by the aggression of Hitler Germany. But that was not all, and the govern- 20 ments of the United States and the United Kingdom, with every passing year, further abandoned the principles underlying the Potsdam Agreement. The same road was followed by France who, though she acceded to the Potsdam Agreement later, cannot, of course, disclaim her share of responsi¬ bility for the fulfilment of this agree¬ ment. Setting about the restoration of the military and economic potential of Western Germany, the western powers revived and strengthened the very forces that had forged the nazi war machine. Had the western powers honoured the Potsdam Agreement, they should have prevented the restoration of the positions of the German militarists, checked re¬ venge-seeking tendencies and not toler¬ ated the building up by Germany of an army and an industry for the manufac¬ ture of means of annihilation. It is, however, well known that the govern¬ ments of the three powers, far from do¬ ing this, on the contrary have sanctioned the setting up of a West German army and are encouraging the arming of the Federal Republic of Germany, disregard¬ ing the commitments assumed at Pots¬ dam. Furthermore, they have included Western Germany in the North Atlantic bloc, which was set up behind the Soviet Union’s back, and, as is clear to every¬ one, against the Soviet Union, and are now arming Western Germany with atomic and rocket weapons. It is evident that the bitter lessons of the murderous war have been lost on some western statesmen, who are again dragging into the light of day the notor¬ ious Munich policy of instigating Ger¬ man militarism against the Soviet Union, recently their comrade-in-arms. The legitimate question arises: Can those who have inspired the present policy of the western powers towards Germany themselves guarantee that Ger¬ man militarism, which they have nur¬ tured, will not attack its present partners again and that the American, British and French peoples will not have to pay with their blood for the violation by the governments of the three western powers of the Allied agreements on the develop¬ ment of Germany along a peaceloving and democratic road? Such a guarantee could scarcely be given by anyone. The policy of the United States, the United Kingdom and France towards Western Germany also led to a vio¬ lation of the provisions of the Potsdam agreements designed to ensure the unity of Germany as a peaceloving and demo¬ cratic state. And when a separate state —the Federal Republic of Germany— was set up in Western Germany, occu¬ pied by the troops of the three powers, Eastern Germany, where forces deter¬ mined to prevent the plunging of the German people into another catastrophe had assumed the leadership, had no alter¬ native but to create, in its turn, an inde¬ pendent state. Two states thus came into being in Germany. Whereas in Western Ger¬ many, whose development was directed by the United States, the United Kingdom and France, a government took office whose representatives do not con¬ ceal their hatred of the Soviet Union and often openly advertise the similarity of their aspirations with the plans of the nazi aggressors, in Eastern Germany a government was created which broke for¬ ever with Germany’s aggressive past. State and public affairs in the German Democratic Republic are regulated by a constitution that is fully in keeping with the principles of the Potsdam Agree¬ ment and the finest progressive traditions of the German people. The domination of the monopolies and junkers was abolished for ever in the German Demo¬ cratic Republic, nazism was extirpated, and a number of other social and econ¬ omic transformations were carried out which prevented the possibility of a re¬ vival of militarism and made the German Democratic Republic an important factor for peace in Europe. The government of the German Democratic Republic solemnly proclaimed that it would fulfil its commitments under the Potsdam Agreement to the letter, which, by the way, the government of the Federal Republic of Germany is obstinately avoiding doing. The inclusion of the 21 Federal Republic of Germany in the North Atlantic bloc impelled the Soviet Union to take retaliatory measures, since the obligations binding the Soviet Union, the United States, the United Kingdom and France, had been broken by the three western powers who had united with Western Germany, and previously with Italy, against the Soviet Union, which had borne the brunt of the struggle against the fascist aggressors. This restricted military grouping likewise created a threat to other countries. Such a situation impelled the Soviet Union and a number of other European countries that had suffered from aggres¬ sion by German and Italian fascism, to establish their own defensive organisa¬ tion, concluding for this purpose the Warsaw Treaty, to which the German Democratic Republic also acceded. There is only one conclusion to be drawn from the foregoing: The Potsdam Agreement has been grossly violated by the western powers. It looks now like the trunk of a tree, once mighty and fruit-bearing, but now mangled and with its core cut out. The lofty aims for which the Potsdam Agreement was con¬ cluded, have long since been thrown away by the western powers, and their practical activity in Germany is diametri¬ cally opposed to what the Potsdam Agreement envisaged. The crux of the matter is not, of course, that the social and political systems of the German Democratic Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany are basically different. The Soviet government considers that the settlement of the question of the social structure of the two German states is the concern of the Germans themselves. The Soviet Union stands for complete non¬ interference in the internal affairs of the German people, just as in those of any other people. But the advance of the German Democratic Republic towards socialism has given rise to the Federal government’s ill-feeling and even com¬ pletely hostile attitude towards it, which is entirely supported and encouraged by the N.A.T.O. countries and, above all, by the United States. Prodded on by the western powers, the government of the Federal Republic of Germany is sys¬ tematically fomenting the “ cold war ” and its leaders have repeatedly made statements to the effect that the Federal Republic will pursue a “ policy of strength,” that is to say, a policy of dictating to the other German state. It follows that the government of the Federal Republic of Germany does not want the peaceful unification of the German people, who are living in two states under two different social systems, but nurtures plans for the abolition of the German Democratic Republic and for strengthening its own militarist state at the expense of the G.D.R. The Soviet government fully sympa¬ thises with the position of the German Democratic Republic, which does not want to see the German working people’s democratic and social gains destroyed, capitalist ownership and landlordism restored, the land, mills and factories taken away from the people and a militarist regime extended to the German Democratic Republic. The elections to the People’s Chamber, and the local government elections which were held in the German Democratic Republic a few days ago, are yet another striking indica¬ tion that the population of the German Democratic Republic is overwhelmingly behind the policy of its government, which aims at strengthening peace and reuniting Germany by peaceful and democratic means, but which is deter¬ mined to defend its socialist gains. The Soviet Union expresses its complete solidarity with the German Democratic Republic, which is firmly defending its legal rights. If the truth is to be faced, it must be recognised, too, that other countries are far from supporting the plans of the government of the Federal Republic of Germany for the forcible reunification of Germany. And this can be understood, since the peoples, including those of France and Britain, are still smarting from the wounds inflicted on them by Hitler Germany. The scars of the last war, which swept the towns and villages of France, are far from having healed. Nor has the damage done to the capital and many cities of Britain by Nazi air¬ raids yet been made good, while millions of Englishmen are unable to forget the 22 tragic fate of Coventry. This feeling can also be understood by those peoples who fell victim to occupation by the Hitler army. They lost millions who were killed or tortured to death, and saw on their own soil thousands of towns destroyed and villages burnt. The Soviet people will never forget what happened to Stalingrad, nor will the Poles ever forget the fate of Warsaw or the Czechoslovak people that of Lidice. American families, too, had to taste the bitterness of bereave¬ ment, the loss of their kith and kin. Germany started both world wars and on both occasions she drew in the United States of America, whose sons had to shed their blood in lands thousands of miles away from American shores. Mindful of all this, the peoples cannot, nor will they, permit Germany to be united on the basis of a militarist state. There is another programme for uniting Germany, one which is put for¬ ward by the German Democratic Repub¬ lic. This is a programme for uniting Germany as a peaceloving and demo¬ cratic state, and it cannot fail to be welcomed by the peoples. There is only one way of carrying it out. And that is through agreement and contacts betwe'en the two German states, and through the setting up of a German Confederation. This proposal, if carried out, would channel the efforts of the two governments and parliaments into a com¬ mon route of peaceful policy, and would ensure a gradual coming together and merging of the two German states— without affecting the social bases of either the German Democratic Republic or the Federal Republic of Germany. The Soviet Union, like other countries concerned to strengthen peace in Europe, supports the proposals of the German Democratic Republic for the peaceful unification of Germany. The govern¬ ment of the U.S.S.R. is sorry to note that none of the efforts made in this direction have so far produced any posi¬ tive result, since the governments of the United States and the other N.A.T.O. countries—and, above all, the govern¬ ment of the Federal Republic of Ger¬ many—are, in point of fact, doing nothing towards the conclusion of a peace treaty, or the uniting of Germany. Consequently, the policies of the United States, the United Kingdom and France, directed as they are towards the militarisation of Western Germany and involving her in the military bloc of the western powers, have prevented the en¬ forcement of those provisions of the Potsdam Agreement which deal with German unity. Of all the Allied agreements on Germany, there is, in fact, only one which is being complied with today. That is the agreement on what is known as the quadripartite status of Berlin. Basing themselves on this status, the three western powers rule the roost in West Berlin, making it a sort of state within a state, and using it as a centre from which to pursue subversive activity against the German Democratic Republic, the Soviet Union and the other parties to the Warsaw Treaty. The United States, Britain and France communicate freely with West Berlin along lines of communi¬ cation passing through the territory and the air space of the German Democratic Republic, which they are not even pre¬ pared to recognise. The governments of the three powers seek to retain in force a long since obsolete section of the wartime agree¬ ments which governed the occupation of Germany and which entitled them in the past to remain in Berlin. At the same time, as has been said, the western powers have grossly violated the quadri¬ partite agreements, including the Potsdam Agreement, which is the most concise ex¬ pression of the obligations of the powers with respect to Germany. Nevertheless, the other four-power agreements on the occupation of Germany, which the governments of the United States, the United Kingdom and France invoke in justification of their rights in West Berlin, were approved under the Potsdam Agreement or concluded in amplification thereof. In other words, the three powers demand the preservation, for their own purposes, of occupation privileges based on the quadripartite agreements—agree¬ ments which they have flouted. If the United States, Britain and France are indeed staying in Berlin in exercise of the rights stemming from these interna- 23 tional agreements and, above all, from the Potsdam Agreement, then this implies their duty to abide by those agreements. They who have grossly violated those agreements have lost all right to retain their occupation regimes in Berlin or in any other part of Germany. Furthermore, is it really possible to insist on the occu¬ pation regimes being maintained in Ger¬ many or in any part of Germany more than 13 years after the end of the war? For every occupation is an event of limited duration, which fact is explicitly stipulated in the quadripartite agreements on Germany. It is well known that the conventional way of ending occupation is for the parties which were at war with each other to conclude a peace treaty, offering the defeated country the conditions necessary for the normalisation of its life. The fact that Germany still has no peace treaty is, above all, the fault of the governments of the United States, the United Kingdom and France, which have never seemed to like the idea of drafting such a treaty. It is well known that the governments of the three powers have reacted nega¬ tively to every approach the Soviet government has made to them for the preparation of a peace treaty with Germany. At the moment, the United States, the United Kingdom and France—as follows from their Notes of September 30 last— are opposed to the latest proposals for a peaceful settlement with Germany, put forward by the Soviet Union and the German Democratic Republic, while making no proposals of their own on this subject, just as they have made none at any time during the postwar period. In point of fact, the recent Note of the United States government is a restate¬ ment of a position shown to be utterly unrealistic, whereby Germany’s national unity would be re-established by the U.S.S.R., the United States, Britain and France, instead of by the German states which are to unite. Another fact revealed by the United States government’s Note is that it is once again avoiding negotia¬ tions with the Soviet Union and the other interested countries for the drafting of a peace treaty with Germany. The result really is a vicious circle: The government of the United States objects to the draft¬ ing of a German peace treaty on the grounds of the absence of a united Ger¬ man state—while, at the same time, it hampers the reunification of Germany by rejecting the only feasible chance of solving this problem through agreement between the two German states. Are not the western powers sticking to this line on the preparation of a peace treaty so as to preserve their privileges in Western Germany and to maintain the occupation regime in West Berlin interminably? It is becoming increasingly clear that this is precisely the situation. The Soviet government reaffirms its readiness to take part at any time in ne¬ gotiations for the drafting of a peace treaty with Germany. However, the absence of a peace treaty can by no means be used as an excuse for an attempt to maintain the occupation regime anywhere in Germany. The occupation of Germany has long since become a thing of the past, and any attempts to prevent the disappearance of special rights of foreign powers in Ger¬ many are becoming a dangerous anachro¬ nism. The occupation regime in Germany has never been an end in itself. It was established so as to help the healthy forces of the German nation to build their own new peaceloving and demo¬ cratic state, on the ruins of militarist Germany. Anxious to live in peace and friendship with the whole German people, the Soviet Union has established and is maintaining normal diplomatic relations with both German states. It maintains close friendly relations with the German Democratic Republic. These relations have been anchored in the treaty which the Soviet Union and the German Demo¬ cratic Republic concluded on September 20, 1955. In conformity with that treaty, relations between the two states are based on the principles of complete equality, respect for each other’s sover¬ eignty and non-interference in one another’s domestic affairs. These, too, are the principles by which the Soviet 24 government is guided in its relations with the other German state—the Federal Republic of Germany. The governments of the United States, the United Kingdom and France an¬ nounced the end of their occupation regime in the territory of the Federal Republic of Germany, which had been under their control and administration, when they signed the Paris agreements. The quadripartite status of Berlin came into being because Berlin, as the capital of Germany, was to be the seat of the Control Council established to run Ger¬ many in the first period of occupation. This status has been scrupulously ob¬ served by the Soviet Union until the present, although the Control Council ceased to exist as long as ten years ago, and there have long since been two capitals in Germany. The United States, Britain and France, on the other hand, have chosen to abuse in a blatant fashion their occupation rights in Berlin, using the quadripartite status of Berlin to pursue their own objective of damaging the Soviet Union, the German Demo¬ cratic Republic and the other socialist countries. The agreement on the quadripartite status of Berlin was once an equal agree¬ ment concluded by the four powers for peaceful and democratic goals which were later to become known as the Pots¬ dam principles. At that time this agree¬ ment was in accordance with the exigen¬ cies of the day and with the interests of all the signatories—the U.S.S.R., the United States, Britain and France. Now that the western powers have begun to arm Western Germany and turn her into an instrument of their policy, spearheaded against the Soviet Union, the very essence of the allied agreement on Berlin has vanished. It has been violated by three of its signatories, who have been using this agreement against the fourth signatory, the Soviet Union. This being the situation, it would be ridiculous to expect the Soviet Union or any other self-respecting state to pretend to ignore the changes which have taken place. A patently absurd situation has arisen, therefore, in which the Soviet Union supports and maintains, as it were, favourable conditions for activity by the western powers directed against the U.S.S.R. and its Warsaw Treaty allies. It is clearly obvious that the Soviet Union, and the other parties to the War¬ saw Treaty, can no longer tolerate this state of affairs. For the occupation regime in West Berlin to continue would be tantamount to recognising something like a privileged position for the N.A.T.O. countries, a privileged position for which, of course, there is no justifi¬ cation. Can anyone really seriously believe that the Soviet Union will help the forces of aggression to develop subversive acti¬ vities against the socialist countries, let alone to prepare an attack on them? It must be clear to everyone of sound mind that the Soviet Union cannot maintain a situation in West Berlin which is detri¬ mental to its legitimate interests, to its security and to the security of the other socialist countries. It would be well to remember that the Soviet Union is not a Jordan or an Iran, and that it will never allow methods of pressure to be applied to it, in order to force on it conditions suiting the powers belonging to the opposing N.A.T.O. military bloc. But this is just what the western powers want from the Soviet Union, since they seek to retain their occupation rights in West Berlin. Can the Soviet government afford to disregard all these facts, which affect the basic security interests of the Soviet Union, and its ally, the German Demo¬ cratic Republic, and of all the signatories of the Warsaw Defence Treaty ? Why, of course not! The Soviet govern¬ ment can no longer consider itself bound by that part of the Allied agreements on Germany which has assumed an unequal character and is being used for the main¬ tenance of the occupation regime in West Berlin and for interference in the domes¬ tic affairs iof the German Democratic Republic. In view of this, the government of the U.S.S.R. hereby notifies the government of the United States that the Soviet Union regards as null and void the “Pro- 25 tocol of the Agreement between the Governments of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the United States of America and the United Kingdom, on the Occupation Zones of Germany and on the Administration of Greater Berlin.” dated September 12, 1944; and the asso¬ ciated supplementary agreements, includ¬ ing the Agreement on the Control Mech¬ anism in Germany concluded between the governments of the U.S.S.R., the United States, the United Kingdom and France on May 1, 1945—that is, to say, the agreements which were to be effective during the first years following the sur¬ render of Germany. It is not difficult to see that all the Soviet government has done by this state¬ ment is to acknowledge the real state of affairs, which rests in the fact that the United States, Britain and France have long since abandoned the essentials of the treaties and agreements concluded during the war against Hitler Germany and following her defeat. The Soviet government is doing no more than draw¬ ing conclusions which, the Soviet Union finds, follow inevitably from the actual state of affairs. In connection with the foregoing, and also proceeding from the principles of respect for the sovereignty of the German Democratic Republic, the Soviet government will enter into negoti¬ ations with the government of the Ger¬ man Democratic Republic at an appro¬ priate moment with a view to transfer¬ ring to the German Democratic Repub¬ lic the functions which the Soviet authori¬ ties have exercised temporarily in accord¬ ance with these Allied agreements, and also in accordance with the agreement between the U.S.S.R. and the German Democratic Republic of September 20, 1955. The best way to solve the Berlin question would be for a decision to be taken, based on the enforcement of the Potsdam Agreement on Germany. But this would be possible only if the three western powers resumed, in com¬ mon with the U.S.S.R., a policy towards Germany which would accord with the spirit and the principles of the Potsdam Agreement. In the present circumstances, this Would mean the withdrawal of the Federal Republic of Germany from N.A.T.O., with the simultaneous with¬ drawal of the German Democratic Republic from the Warsaw Treaty Organisation, and the achievement of an agreement whereby, in accordance with the principles of the Potsdam Agreement, neither of the two German states would have any armed forces in excess of those needed to maintain law and order at home and to guard their frontiers. If the government of the United States of America is unwilling to contribute in this way to the implementation of the basic political principles of the Allied agreements on Germany, it can have no reason, either legal or moral, for insist¬ ing on the preservation of the quad¬ ripartite status of Berlin. There may, of course, be some ill- wishers of the Soviet Union who will try to read an urge for some sort of annexa¬ tion into the Soviet government’s position with regard to the occupation regime in Berlin. Such an interpretation would not, of course, have anything in common with real facts. The Soviet Union, like the other socialist countries, makes no territorial claims. It is guided undeviat- ingly in its policy by the principle of denouncing annexation, that is to say, the grabbing of other peoples’ lands and the subjugation of other peoples. This prin¬ ciple was proclaimed by Lenin, the founder of the Soviet state, in the very first days of Soviet government in Russia. The U.S.S.R. does not seek any con¬ quests. All it wants is to put an end to the abnormal and dangerous situation which has developed in Berlin because of the continued occupation of its western sectors by the United States, the United Kingdom and France. An independent solution to the Berlin problem must be found in the very near future, since the western powers are refusing to take part in the drafting of a peace treaty with Germany, and the government of the Federal Republic of Germany, supported by the same powers, is pursuing a policy of obstructing Ger¬ many’s unification. It is necessary to pre¬ vent West Berlin from being used any longer for intensified espionage, wrecking or any other subversive 26 activities against the socialist countries, against the German Democratic Repub¬ lic, the U.S.S.R., or, to quote the leaders of the United States government, to pre¬ vent it from being used for “indirect aggression” against the countries of the socialist camp. Essentially speaking, the only interest the United States, the United Kingdom and France have in West Berlin consists in using this “ frontline city,” as it is vociferously called in the West, as a van¬ tage point from which to carry on hostile activity against the socialist countries. This is the only benefit the western powers are deriving from their presence in Berlin as occupationists. The ending of the legally unjustified occupation of West Berlin would do no harm either to the United States, or to the United Kingdom, or to France. It would, on the other hand, go far towards improving the international atmosphere in Europe and setting people’s minds at rest in all countries. Conversely, the only conclusion one can draw from the western powers persisting in preserving their occupation of West Berlin is that “indirect aggres¬ sion ” against the German Democratic Republic and the Soviet Union is not the only aim they are pursuing, and that there must be some plans for a yet more dangerous use of West Berlin. The Soviet government makes this appeal to the government of the United States, proceeding from its determination to secure a relaxation of international tension; to put an end to the state of “ cold war ” and to clear the way for the re-establishment of good relations between the Soviet Union and the United States, and also with the United Kingdom and France; to put out of the way every¬ thing which brings our countries into conflict and sets them at loggerheads, and to reduce the causes which give rise to these conflicts. Indeed, one cannot get away from the fact that West Berlin, with its present status, is just such a source of discord and suspicion between our countries. The most correct and natural way to solve the problem would, of course, be for the western part of Berlin, which is virtually detached from the German Democratic Republic, to be reunited with its eastern part and for Berlin to become a single united city within the state on whose land it is situated. However, the Soviet government, tak¬ ing into account the present unrealistic policy of the United States, and also of the United Kingdom and France, with regard to the German Democratic Republic, cannot fail to see the difficul¬ ties the western powers have in con¬ tributing to such a solution of the Berlin problem. At the same time it is guided by concern to prevent the process of abolishing the occupation regime from involving anything like a painful disruption of the ways which have become entrenched in the life of the population of West Berlin. One cannot, of course, fail to take into account the fact that the political and economic development of West Berlin, during its occupation by the three western powers, has differed from that of East Berlin and the German Democratic Republic, with the result that the way of life in the two parts of Berlin is entirely different at the present time. The Soviet government considers that upon the ending of foreign occupa¬ tion, the population of West Berlin should be given the right to establish a way of life of its own choosing. Should the inhabitants of West Berlin desire to preserve the present way of life, based on private capitalist ownership, it is up to them to do so. The U.S.S.R., for its part, will respect any choice the West Berliners may make. On the strength of all these considera¬ tions, the Soviet government finds it possible for the question of West Berlin to be settled for the time being by mak¬ ing West Berlin an independent political entity—a free city—without any state, including either of the existing German states, interfering in its life. It might be possible, in particular, to agree on the territory of the free city being demili¬ tarised and having no armed forces on it. The free city of West Berlin could have its own government and could run 27 its own economy and its administrative and other affairs. The four powers, which shared in the administration of Berlin after the war, could, as could the two German states, undertake to respect the status of West Berlin as a free city, just as has been done by the four powers, for in¬ stance, with regard to the neutral status which has been adopted by the Austrian Republic. For its part, the Soviet government would have no objection to the United Nations also sharing, in one way or another, in observing the free-city status of West Berlin. It is obvious that, taking into con¬ sideration the special position of West Berlin, which lies in the territory of the German Democratic Republic and is cut off from the outside world, the question would arise of some kind of arrangement with the German Democratic Republic concerning guarantees of unhindered communica¬ tions between the free city and the out¬ side world — both eastward and west¬ ward—with the aim of free movement for passenger and freight traffic. In its turn, West Berlin would commit itself not to tolerate on its territory hostile subversive activity directed against the German Democratic Republic or any other state. That solution to the problem of the status of West Berlin would be an important step towards normalising the situation in Berlin, which, instead of being a hotbed of unrest and tension, could become a centre for contacts and co-operation between the two parts of Germany in the interests of Germany’s peaceful future and the unity of the German nation. The establishment of the status of a free city for West Berlin would make it possible to safeguard firmly the ex¬ pansion of the economy of West Berlin, owing to its all-sided contacts with the eastern and western countries, and proper living standards for the popula¬ tion of the city. For its part, the Soviet Union declares that it will do its utmost to promote the attainment of these aims, especially by placing orders for an amount of manufactured goods that will fully ensure the stability and prosperity of the economy of the free city and also by regular systematic supplies of the necessary raw materials and foodstuffs to West Berlin on a commercial basis. Thus, West Berlin’s population of over two million, far from suffering from the abolition of the occupation regime, would, on the contrary, have every possibility of raising their living standards. If the government of the United States, as well as the governments of the United Kingdom and France, expresses its consent to examine the question of abolishing the present occupation regime in West Berlin by setting up a free city on its territory, the Soviet government would be willing, on behalf of the four powers, to enter into official contact on this question with the government of the German Democratic Republic, with which it has already held preliminary consultations before the despatch of the present Note. It should, of course, be borne in mind that the consent of the German Demo¬ cratic Republic to the setting up of such an independent political organism as the free city of West Berlin within its territory would be a concession, a definite sacrifice by the German Demo¬ cratic Republic for the sake of strengthening peace in Europe, for the sake of the national interests of the German people as a whole. The Soviet government, for its part, has resolved to carry out measures designed to abolish the occupation regime in Berlin, guided by the desire to normalise the situation in Berlin, in the interests of European peace, and in the interests of the peaceful and indepen¬ dent development of Germany. It hopes that the government of the United States will show a proper understanding of these motives and adopt a realistic attitude on the Berlin issue. At the same time the Soviet govern¬ ment is ready to open negotiations with the governments of the United States and other countries concerned, on grant¬ ing West Berlin the status of a demili¬ tarised free city. If this proposal is not acceptable to the United States govern- 28 ment, there is no topic left for talks on the Berlin question by the former occupying powers. The Soviet government strives for the necessary changes in the position of Berlin to be made in a calm atmosphere, without haste and unnecessary friction, with the maximum account being taken of the interests of the sides concerned. It is obvious that some time is needed for the powers that occupied Germany after the defeat of the nazi Wehrmacht to agree on proclaiming West Berlin a free city, provided, of course, that the western powers take a proper interest in this proposal. It should also be taken into consideration that the necessity may arise of talks between the city autho¬ rities of both parts of Berlin and also between the German Democratic Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany for a settlement of the issues that may arise. In view of this the Soviet government proposes to make no changes in the present procedure for military traffic of the United States, the United Kingdom and France from West Berlin to the Federal Republic of Germany for half a year. It regards this period as quite adequate for finding a sound basis for a solution to the problems connected with the change in the position of Berlin and for preventing the possibility of any complications if, of course, the governments of the western powers do not deliberately work for such compli¬ cations. During this period the sides will have the possibility of proving, by settling the Berlin issue, their desire for a relaxation of international tension. If the above period is not used for reaching an appropriate agreement, the Soviet Union will effect the planned measures by agreement with the German Democratic Republic. It is envisaged that the German Demo¬ cratic Republic, like any other indepen¬ dent state, must fully control questions concerning its space, that is to say, exercise its sovereignty on land, on water and in the air. At the same time there will be an end to all the contacts still maintained between representatives of the armed forces and other officials of the Soviet Union in Germany and corre¬ sponding representatives of the armed forces and other officials of the United States, the United Kingdom and France on questions relating to Berlin. Voices are being raised in the capitals of some western powers claiming that these powers do not recognise the Soviet Union’s decision to discard the functions of maintaining the occupation status in Berlin. How can such a question be raised? Anyone who today speaks of non-recognition of the steps planned by the Soviet Union would obviously like to speak to it, not in the language of reason and well-founded argument, but in the language of brute force, forgetting that the Soviet people are not affected by threats or intimidation. If, behind the word “ non-recognition,” there really lies the intention to resort to force and draw the world into a war over Berlin, the advocates of such a policy should take into consideration the fact that they are assuming a very grave responsibility before the peoples and before history for all the consequences of that policy. Anyone who brandishes weapons in connection with the situation in Berlin once again exposes his interest in main¬ taining the occupation regime in Berlin for aggressive purposes. The government of the Soviet Union would like to hope that the problem of normalising the situation in Berlin, which life itself raises before our states as an imperative necessity, will in any case be solved in accordance with the considerations of statesmanship, in the interests of peace among the peoples, without any un¬ necessary tension or aggravation of the “ cold war.” Methods of blackmail and reckless threats of force are least of all opportune in solving such a problem as the Berlin issue. Such methods will not help to settle a single question; they can only aggravate the situation to danger point. Only madmen, however, can go to the length of unleashing another world war over the preservation of the privileges of occupationists in West Berlin. If such madmen should really come to the fore, 29 there is no doubt that strait-jackets could be found for them. If the statesmen responsible for the policy of the western powers are guided in their approach to the Berlin question, as well as other international problems, by hatred of communism, of the socialist countries, no good will come of this. Neither the Soviet Union nor any other socialist state can deny its existence precisely as a socialist state, nor are these states going to do so. That is why, having united in an unbreakable fraternal alliance, they take a firm stand in defence of their rights and their state frontiers, acting according to the motto, “ Each for all, and all for each.” Any violation of the frontiers of the German Democratic Republic, Poland, or Czechoslovakia, any aggressive action against any state that is a party to the Warsaw Treaty, will be regarded by all its signatories as an act of aggression against all of them and will immediately result in appropriate retaliation. The Soviet government believes that it would be sensible to recognise the situa¬ tion existing in the world and to create normal relations for co-existence between all states, to expand world trade, to build the relations between our countries on the basis of the well-known principles of mutual respect for one another’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, non¬ aggression, non - interference in one another’s internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit. The Soviet Union, its people and its government are sincerely striving for the restoration of good relations with the United States of America—relations based on trust, which are quite feasible, as has been shown by the experience of the joint struggle against the Hitler aggressors and which, in peacetime, would offer our countries nothing but the advantages of mutually-enriched spiritual and material co-operation between our peoples, and would offer all other men and women the blessing of a tranquil life in conditions of lasting peace. Copies of the Soviet government’s Note to the government of the United States have been sent to the governments of all states with which the Soviet Union maintains diplomatic relations and also the govern¬ ments of other members of the United Nations. N. S. KHRUSHCHOV’S PRESS CONFERENCE N. S. Khrushchov, Chairman of tfee U.S.S.M. Connell of Ministers, held a press conference in the Kremlin on November 27, 1958. The following is the transcript of the press conference : A. A. Gromyko: Allow me to declare the press conference open. Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the U.S.S.R. Nikita Khrushchov has the floor. N. S. Khrushchov: I asked the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the U.S.S.R., before handing over for publication the texts of our Notes on the Berlin question—which were forwarded earlier today to the governments of the United States of America, Britain, France, the German Democratic Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany—to acquaint the correspondents with these documents so that they could, after reading the Soviet government’s Notes prepare the questions they would like to put. Pravda correspondent P. Naumov: Why has the Soviet government chosen this particular moment to suggest the ending of the occupation status of Berlin? What is the purpose of the Soviet government’s step towards changing the status of West Berlin? N. S. Khrushchov: I shall try to answer this question. You are asking why the question of ending the occupation status of Berlin has arisen, and why has it 30 become necessary to settle this question at this particular moment? This is explained by the particular re¬ lations which have developed between the great powers or, as the press would say, between the West and the East. We have taken many steps towards relieving the tension in international relations, developing normal relations between states, ensuring peaceful co¬ existence and solving whatever differences may arise by peaceful means, without allowing conflicts to arise. We have taken quite a few measures to find methods of approach to this problem, that is to say, towards the establishment of a normal situation throughout the world and, above all, in Europe, towards ensuring under¬ standing and peace among the states which fought against nazi Germany. And enough time—more than 13 years—has passed since the war. The obstacle to the conclusion of a peace treaty with Germany, as is shown by the attitude of representatives of the western powers, and in particular of Western Germany, consists in their un¬ willingness to recognise realities of life. And these realities consist in the fact that there are two German states in existence—the Federal Republic of Ger¬ many, which bases its existence on the principle of private capitalist ownership, and the German Democratic Republic, which is growing and developing on a socialist basis and moving in the direction of socialism. To accept this reasoning which is often referred to in the West as plausible, this situation would have to be maintained for ever. Indeed, the German Democratic Republic would hardly be able to per¬ suade Herr Adenauer and his government that Western Germany should adopt a socialist trend in its political activity. That would, of course, be desirable both for the Germans of the German Democratic Republic and for many of the Germans in Western Germany, as well as for all progressive mankind, and we, as com¬ munists, would welcome this very much. But to think that Herr Adenauer and the ruling circles of Western Germany will agree to this would mean indulging in wishful thinking. On the other hand, certain circles in Western Germany and, to my regret. Chancellor Adenauer and others, do in¬ dulge in this sort of wishful thinking, as they are hoping, for some reason or other, to get the German Democratic Republic to renounce its socialist system and adopt a capitalist system. This, they say, would be the basis for the “ reunifi¬ cation ” of Germany, that is to say, for the monopoly circles of Western Ger¬ many to absorb the German Democratic Republic and thus create a united Ger¬ many on the social basis of Western Germany. Not until after this will it become possible, in their opinion, to con¬ clude a peace treaty. Are these hopes realistic? Of course not. They must be described as fantastic, since the working people of the German Democratic Republic will never agree to give up their social and political gains in favour of exploiters and monopolists. So what is to be done? One must proceed from the real facts. There is a divided Berlin where the occu¬ pation regime is still maintained. The war ended more than 13 years ago. Every normal person, I think, finds such a situation abnormal. It is necessary, there¬ fore, to find a solution that will end this abnormality, because the present exist¬ ence of the occupation regime serves no positive purpose at all. The perpetuation of such a situation would be to the advantage only of a party pursuing aggressive aims. To the western powers West Berlin is a convenient place for conducting an aggressive policy against the German Democratic Republic, and against the Soviet Union and other countries of the socialist camp. In view of a certain policy of the western powers, whipping up revengeful sentiments in Western Germany and encouraging the revival of reactionary fascist organisations and forces there, West Berlin has become a kind of cancerous tumour. And if it is not eliminated this will create a danger that might lead to quite undesirable con¬ sequences. It is precisely because of this that we have decided to perform a surgi¬ cal operation, to terminate the occupation status of Berlin and create conditions that will help to normalise relations be- 31 tween the great powers of the former anti-Hitler coalition. We want to establish a normal atmo¬ sphere, normal conditions, in which the relations between our countries will become what they were during the war against Hitler Germany. We are con¬ vinced that all peoples who stand for ending the “ cold war,” for establishing normal conditions in relations between countries, for assuring the peaceful co¬ existence of countries, irrespective of their systems, for eliminating friction and conflicts between countries—all these people will welcome the Soviet Union’s proposals for the solution of the Berlin problem. At the same time, we realise perfectly well that certain circles who are in favour of the “ cold war ” continuing, stand for utilising West Berlin as a centre of dis¬ putes for kindling a hot war. These circles will naturally be displeased with our peaceful proposals and will resist them. But we are convinced that such people are in the minority in the world. The overwhelming majority of people want peace in the world and therefore we count on the support of these people. United Press International correspondent H. Shapiro: Would it be correct to infer from the Soviet Note that for half a year the Soviet Union would not take any steps changing the regime existing in Berlin at the present time? Khrushchov: I think that you are right in your conclusion that in the course of the period announced, that is to say, for six months, we shall not alter the con¬ ditions which have already come into being in Berlin, although we regard them as abnormal. But we should like to eliminate even these abnormal conditions in a normal way, that is to say, by means of agreement. In eliminating the abnormal situation we do not want to worsen in any way the relations between the peoples. By means of an agreement we want to create normal conditions which would help to promote a friendly atmosphere in the relations among all states. I am saying this, naturally, with one reservation: We shall observe, throughout the period stated, the norms established by the occupation regime, on condition that other countries do not take provocative steps endangering the cause of peace. I believe there is nothing left to say on this question. France Presse correspondent K. Zam- ekau: Berlin is known to be the capital of the German Democratic Republic. Why then, in spite of this fact, is it pro¬ posed to give the western part of Berlin the status of a free and demilitarised city? Khrushchov: The question is put cor¬ rectly. Indeed, if we are to proceed from the provisions which stem from the Pots¬ dam Agreement, it is clear to everyone that Berlin is situated on the territory of that part of Germany where the German Democratic Republic has been created and is developing. Therefore the most correct decision would be one in accord¬ ance with which the western part of Berlin, now actually torn away from the German Democratic Republic, would re¬ unite with its eastern part. Then Berlin would become a united city within the composition of the state on whose soil it is situated. Thirteen years have gone by since the end of the war and the signing of the Potsdam Agreement. During this time differing trends have been adopted in the economic development and in the state systems of West Berlin and of East Ber¬ lin, and of the German Democratic Re¬ public as a whole. If liquids of entirely different composition are brought to¬ gether in one vessel, then, as chemists say, a certain reaction takes place. And we want the Berlin problem to be solved on a basis that will not cause a turbulent reaction. We want to approach the solution of this question taking into consideration the actual conditions that exist. And the best, most realistic approach to the solu¬ tion of the Berlin problem is to recog¬ nise the fact that there exist two German states and to recognise the different systems existing in these states. In view of this it would be best to establish for the western part of Berlin the conditions of a free city with its own government and with its own social and state systems. We believe that in the present situation, only on the basis of such a realistic approach is it possible to find a correct solution to the Berlin problem and to eliminate painlessly the cancerous tum¬ our into which West Berlin has been con¬ verted. We want to provide normal con¬ ditions for the solution of this problem. 32 so that people residing in West Berlin and having different views and convic¬ tions, should not be forced to accept against their will a system which they do not like. We much appreciate the position of the German Democratic Republic, the government of which has understood our proposals correctly and supports them. We much appreciate such a position because it is evidence of the deep understanding by the government of the German Democratic Republic of the interests of strengthening peace and reunifying their country. The government of the German Democratic Republic supports this measure with regard to West Berlin in the interests of ensuring peace and solving the German problem, in the hope that this step may be a good precedent for solving other outstanding problems as well. I believe that all people who support the interests of peace will under¬ stand this step correctly and approve it. This step may help to solve the questions involved in the signing of a peace treaty with Germany, in establish¬ ing contacts between the two German states—the German Democratic Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany. Tass correspondent M. Gerasimov: The western press claims that the steps envisaged by the Soviet government for eliminating the vestiges of the occupation regime in Berlin might worsen the economic position of the city and of its residents. Are there any grounds for such assertions? Khrushchov: In my opinion our proposals contain an answer to this question. We have stated that the Soviet Union, by the orders it places, will ensure that West Berlin’s industrial enter¬ prises operate at full capacity. The Soviet Union also undertakes to fully supply West Berlin with food. Naturally, we intend to do both these things on a commercial basis. I think that no one questions the Soviet Union’s possibilities. West Berlin workers and employers can engage in activities useful to the Berlin population. Far from resulting in a deterioration of living standards, this will assure a higher level of employ¬ ment and provide the conditions for raising the standard of living. It follows that if anyone should be in doubt, or be uneasy about this matter, it must be said there is no reason what¬ soever for that. Izvestia correspondent V. Kudryavtsev: How is one to interpret the statements of certain political leaders of the Federal Republic of Germany insisting on the preservation of the existing situation in Berlin? Khrushchov. I think I partly replied to this question earlier. The political leaders and the statesmen who are insisting on the preservation of the old status of Berlin are also insisting on the preser¬ vation of the abnormal conditions which have arisen in Europe and in the rest of the world. There is tension in inter¬ national relations at the present time. To insist on keeping the source of this tension means perpetuating it, instead of ending it. However, all tension in relations can generate super-tension and this, in view of the present development of armaments, may entail rather sad consequences for the human race. It is necessary, therefore, to stamp out the source of tension and to create normal conditions so that people may sleep undisturbed without any danger of an outbreak of war, involving atomic and hydrogen weapons, hanging over them. One is perfectly justified in questioning the sanity of people who are insisting on the preservation of an abnormal situation. Reuter correspondent V. Buist: What guarantees will the Soviet government give with respect to West Berlin as a free city? Will there be any change in the Soviet government’s policy on Berlin should Western Germany give up her rearmament programme? Khrushchov: The statements of the Soviet government and all of our docu¬ ments give a full guarantee in this respect. We shall do everything to safe¬ guard and support the free city and ensure non-interference in its internal affairs, so that it can develop in keeping with the wishes of its population. Should other countries recognise this situation or should they agree to sign a joint document or, if necessary, to have this recorded in a resolution of the United Nations, we would be willing to do so. You ask whether there will be any change in the Soviet government’s policy on Berlin should Western Germany give up her rearmament programme? No, there will be none. It has to be borne in mind that Germany is not supposed to be armed under the Pots¬ dam Agreement. Therefore one cannot regard Western Germany’s renunciation 33 of her rearmament programme as being a concession for a concession. These are two different things and of different value. Should Western Germany declare that she will not arm herself, with the occupation regime of Berlin still main¬ tained, the source of tension and con¬ flict will not be stamped out. It will remain. It is necessary, therefore, to put an end to this abnormal situation. It would be very reasonable if Western Germany did not arm herself, and it would be still more reasonable if the other states with forces in Eastern and Western Germany withdrew their troops, which we have suggested repeatedly. The ending of the occupation regime in Berlin and the establishment of a free city in the western part of Berlin would contribute to solving the problem of withdrawing the troops from Germany and would also be helpful in solving the problem of disarmament. AON correspondent II. Leoehardt (Ger¬ man Democratic Republic): What steps and measures would be desirable, in your judgement, to ensure that changes in the situation in Berlin could be made normally and without any difficulties? Khrushchov: We want these measures to involve no difficulties at all. If all the states whom we are addressing were to reply to our proposals by welcoming them and saying that they were willing to meet, if necessary, to sign appropriate documents, that would be the most reasonable thing to do. I am convinced that such a position would be welcomed by all people who stand for safeguarding world peace. We do not expect our proposal to be welcomed, but we do believe that it will be properly inter¬ preted and received as one corresponding to the interests of international peace and security. The Berlin question will take time to settle, and for this reason we have fixed a time limit of six months in which to think over every aspect of this question, and to settle it radically and eliminate this seat of danger. Question from I. Kulosar, C. S. Kiss and I. Szabo, correspondents of the Hun¬ garian News Agency, the newspaper Nepszabadsag and the Hungarian Radio: What steps does the Soviet government propose to take should the western powers decline to accept a free-city status for Berlin ? Khrushchov: It would be highly un¬ desirable if the governments concerned, whom we are addressing, were to disagree with our proposals. But even if things did take such an unwelcome turn, that would not stop us. When the time-limit expires, we shall carry into effect our proposals as stated in our documents. I am not going to enlarge on the reasons why we have taken this decision, since these have been set out in great detail in the documents of the Soviet government. D.P.A. agency correspondent Nielsen- Stokkeby (Federal Republic of Germany): What will the Soviet government’s posi¬ tion be should the government of the United States decline the proposal for a free-city status for Berlin and should it also refuse to withdraw its troops from Berlin or to hold any talks with the government of the German Democratic Republic ? Khrushchov: We would, certainly, regret the United States’ rejection of our pro¬ posal. But this, as I have said, would not stop us from carrying out our proposals. We have no other way out. When the western powers, that is to say, the United States, Britain and France, violated the most important provisions of the Pots¬ dam Agreement with respect to German demilitarisation and started to arm the Federal Republic of Germany, we pro¬ tested against it. But our protests passed unheeded and the process of the rebirth of militarism in Western Germany goes on. Therefore, if our proposal for West Berlin is not accepted, we shall have to do just what the western powers did when they cast aside the commitments they had assumed at Potsdam and other obligations resulting from the defeat of nazi Germany. Daily Worker correspondent S. Russell (Britain): In view of the fact that various spy organisations and radio stations carrying on subversive activity in West Berlin provide employment for many people, what does the Soviet government propose to do to prevent these people from becoming unemployed? (laughter). Khrushchov: The only thing that can, evidently, be done in this case is to recommend to these people that they change their trade (laughter), that is to say, stop lying and spying and get down to work useful for the people. And should some of them still remain unem¬ ployed, I shan’t sympathise with them (animation). Le Monde correspondent M. Tatu (France): Mr. Chairman, you have said 34 that West Berlin belongs to the German Democratic Republic. Does this mean, in the opinion of the Soviet government, that this status of West Berlin will be temporary and that at a later stage the Soviet government will propose the in¬ clusion of West Berlin in the German Democratic Republic? Khrushchov: I have understood your question. Here is my answer. No, we do not consider that this is a temporary recognition or a temporary sacrifice on the part of the German Democratic Republic. We believe that the free-city status of West Berlin will continue as long as the citizens of the free city of Berlin so desire it—that is to say, they will establish whatever they may choose. Die Welt correspondent H. Schowe (Western Germany): If West Berlin is given a free-city status, in that case will a corridor be set aside for access to the city from Western Germany, such as the one which was once set aside for the free city of Danzig? Khrushchov: These are details it is difficult for me to speak about at present. But I think that the free city of Berlin certainly should be given a guarantee of free communication, both in the eastern and western directions. This is provided for in our proposals. New York Times correspondent M. Frankel: The Soviet government’s Note to the United States government says that if the proposals put forward in the docu¬ ment should not be acceptable to the United States government, there would remain no subject for negotiations on the Berlin problem between the former occupying powers. Does this mean that if the United States government disagrees with the specific proposals put forward in the Soviet document, the Soviet government will not be interested in considering any other proposals on the Berlin question? Khrushchov: You see, it depends on what exactly the United States would disagree with. If it rejects as a whole the question posed in our document, then indeed there would remain no subject for talks about the Berlin question. If, however, the need arises to specify and discuss our pro¬ posals, that, in my opinion, is quite per¬ missible and even necessary. For this reason we put this question, not in the nature of an ultimatum, but suggesting a six-month time-limit for a comprehensive discussion on it, for meet¬ ings with representatives of western powers, to discuss the Soviet govern¬ ment’s proposals if the western powers show readiness to discuss this question. Siid-Deutschc Zcitung correspondent 3. Stcinmayer (Western Germany): It has been said that the Soviet proposals re¬ garding Berlin are planned on a long¬ term basis. Are they envisaged approx¬ imately for the period of the existence of the two German states? Khrushchov: If the two German states agree to reunite, this very fact would obviously settle the question of the dis¬ continuation of the existence of the free city, because Germany would be united and by the will of the German people Berlin would obviously become the capital of the single German state. New York Herald Tribune correspondent T. Lambert: Should the Soviet Note be regarded as a denunciation of the Pots¬ dam Agreement ? Khrushchov: And do you believe the Potsdam Agreement is being observed now ? (laughter). Lambert: Some people believe that it is (animation). Khrushchov: The governments of the United States, Britain and France have grossly violated the Potsdam Agreement and sabotaged its observance. At the same time they cling to one part of this agreement, to prolong somehow the occupation of Berlin. Other participants in the war against Hitler Germany con¬ sider that by sabotaging the observance of a number of the major provisions of the Potsdam agreement, the western powers have forfeited the right to stay in Berlin. As you know, that is our point of view. Khrushchov: (addressing the correspon¬ dents) : Have you any other questions you want me to answer ? No ? I hope that I have been able to satisfy the requests of the correspondents present. I should like the Soviet government’s step with regard to Berlin to be under¬ stood correctly. It has already been said before that this step is aimed at elimini- nating a centre of tension, at ensuring a world detente, providing normal condi¬ tions for peaceful co-existence and competition. This is an interesting sphere offering wide scope for activities for the benefit of the peoples. It is this aim that the Soviet government has pursued in putting forward its proposals on the 35 Berlin question. I urge you to help in this noble cause. I have read today the speech of the United States Vice-President, Mr. Nixon, in London. For the first time, perhaps, I can say that I agree with the concluding part of his speech which mentioned peaceful co-existence. This is a rare event. Closing his speech in London, Mr. Nixon stated that we must at last pass to economic competition. He said : Let our main aim be, not the defeat of communism, but the triumph of plenty over need, of health over disease, of freedom over tyranny. I welcome this statement. If Mr. Nixon adopts such a tone in his speeches in the future and if other states¬ men of the United States, Britain, France and Western Germany follow suit, we would welcome it. One cannot help noting the new ring in the voice of Mr. Nixon, the final part of whose speech in this case did not breathe remnants from the fission of the atomic explosions which are held as a threat over the peoples. We are against the arms race, against the threat of a new war. We stand for peaceful competitioiv in the economic sphere. Let us competi on such a basis—who will beat whom ? Mr. Nixon speaks about a readi¬ ness to compete in the peaceful sphere so as to see who will ensure a higher standard of life for the people, who will provide the people with better conditions to enjoy the benefits of culture, who will assure more freedoms for the people. He expresses a readiness to compete in assuring better conditions in order to “ eliminate tyranny.” We differ with Mr. Nixon with regard to our conception of tyranny: What he regards as freedom for the rich to exploit the poor, we regard as tyranny; we forbid exploitation and he regards our measures against exploiters as tyranny. These are different conceptions. Let there even be different interpreta¬ tions of some conceptions and terms. What is important is that our efforts should be directed towards peaceful competition. In conclusion Khrushchov thanked the correspondents for their attention and said goodbye. SOVIET GOVERNMENT’S NOTE TO GERMAN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC ON THE QUESTION OF BERLIN on November 27, 1958 T HE government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics is approach¬ ing the government of the German Democratic Republic in connection with the question of Berlin—a question which profoundly affects the interests both of the German Democratic Republic and the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union has come to the con¬ clusion that the present status of Berlin —when part of the city, actually separ¬ ated from the German Democratic Re¬ public, is occupied by the United States, the United Kingdom and France and is serving as a base for subversive activity against the German Democratic Repub¬ lic, the Soviet Union and other socialist countries, activity which, to use the ter¬ minology of the United States leaders, can justly be described as “ indirect aggression ”—is intolerable and must be changed. For a correct approach to the Berlin issue it is necessary, of course, to bear in mind the historical develop¬ ment which has taken place in Germany during the postwar years. This develop¬ ment has given rise to two separate inde¬ pendent states enjoying international recognition and coming out for many years as independent and sovereign states in the international arena. All this has made the continuation, in any form, of the occupation of Germany by the powers which won the last war, an anachronism that is devoid of any sense or justification in the present situation. The continuation of this occupation 36 regime in Berlin is today not only an absurdity from the point of view of poli¬ tical logic and common sense, but a gross injustice to the German people, and above all to the German Democratic Re¬ public, whose capital is Berlin. The Soviet government, which sincerely respects the sovereign rights of the Ger¬ man people, does not consider it possible to associate itself with the continuation of the occupation regime in Berlin and, for its part, proposes to take all measures to end it. As for the United States, the United Kingdom and France, it is obvious that they have long forfeited every legal or moral right to remain in Berlin, because they have grossly violated the Potsdam and other quadriparite Allied agreements concluded during and immediately after the war with a view to putting an end, once and for all, to German militarism and ensuring the peace¬ ful and democratic development of Ger¬ many. Suffice it to mention, in this connection, such facts as the drawing of the Federal Republic of Germany into the aggressive North Atlantic bloc and the arming of the West German Bundes- wehr with American rocket and atomic weapons that has begun. Consideration could be given to cer¬ tain rights of the three western powers under the quadripartite Allied agree¬ ments only if the United States, the United Kingdom and France basically re¬ shaped their policy on German affairs and, in conformity with the basic princi¬ ples of the Potsdam agreements, put an end to the militarisation of Western Ger¬ many and her participation in N.A.T.O., which endanger peace and the future of the German nation. Were the western powers to take this road, it would mean, in fact, compliance with the essence of the Allied agreements on Germany. The practical prerequisites would thereby be created for a rapprochement of the two German states on the basis of the Ger¬ man Democratic Republic’s well-known proposals for the establishment of a German Confederation—proposals which are fully supported by the Soviet Union and which constitute the only effective way of restoring the national unity of the German people. The western powers’ retention of the role of occupationists in Berlin is, in the present conditions, nothing but a shameless attempt to capi¬ talise unilaterally on the long obsolete vestiges of agreements which they them¬ selves have violated, in the interests of the N.A.T.O. military grouping and to the detriment of the German Democratic Republic and the entire socialist camp. In view of all these circumstances, the Soviet government now regards as null and void the “ Protocol of the Agree¬ ment between the Governments of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the United States of America and the United Kingdom, on the Occupation Zones of Germany and on the Administration of Greater Berlin,” dated September 12, 1944, and the associated supplementary agreements, including the Agreement on the Control Machinery in Germany con¬ cluded between the governments of the U.S.S.R., the United States, the United Kingdom and France on May 1, 1945— that is to say, the agreements which were to be effective during the first years fol¬ lowing the surrender of Hitler Germany The Soviet government has officially in¬ formed the governments of the United States, the United Kingdom and France of this. In conformity with this and guided by the principles of unqualified respect for the sovereignty of the German Demo¬ cratic Republic, the Soviet government has in view the transfer to agencies of the German Democratic Republic of all the functions so far temporarly discharged by Soviet organs on the basis of the aforementioned Allied agreements and under the agreements between the U.S.S.R. and the German Democratic Republic of September 20, 1955, so that in future the German Democratic Repub¬ lic would have complete jurisdiction in questions related to its territory, that is to say, would exercise its sovereignty on land, on water and in the air. All con¬ tacts of Soviet military and other official representatives in Germany with corres¬ ponding representatives of the three wes¬ tern powers on questions concerning the occupation of West Berlin would be dis¬ continued. It is also planned to do away 37 with the Soviet Military Kommandatura in Berlin and to withdraw from the city the guard units attached to it. In so doing, the Soviet government pro¬ ceeds from the premise that the steps planned for abolishing the occupation status of Berlin would be implemented in six months, so that the western powers could make appropriate preparations for this change in the status of Berlin. The Soviet government believes that it would be desirable to have talks between government delegations of the UJS.S.R. and the German Democratic Republic to discuss in detail the questions arising from the aforementioned plan. If the government of the German Democratic Republic agrees to this proposal, the date for the talks could be fixed later. In raising the question of terminating the occupation regime in West Berlin, as a regime incompatible with the present situation in Germany and infringing upon the rights of the German people, the Soviet government proceeds from the assumption that it would have been most correct and natural to unite the western part of the city, now occupied by the United States, Britain and France, with the eastern, democratic sector of Ber¬ lin, so that the whole city would be under the sovereignty of the German Demo¬ cratic Republic and would be its capital. The Soviet Union would have whole¬ heartedly acclaimed such a solution to this question. However, taking into con¬ sideration the situation that actually exists, we must admit that this solution to the problem would run up against great difficulties in the present circum¬ stances. This becomes particularly ob¬ vious if we consider the fact that in the postwar years the political and economic development of Berlin’s western sectors, determined as it has been by the western occupation regime, has proceeded in a direction different from that of the Ger¬ man Democratic Republic and East Berlin. The solution of the Berlin issue on this basis is also hampered by the un¬ realistic attitude which the governments of the United States, the United King¬ dom and France still take towards the German Democratic Republic. Taking stock of all these considera¬ tions and guided by the desire that the process of terminating the occupation regime should not inconvenience the population of West Berlin or entail a painful reshaping of their habitual way of life, the Soviet government would consider it possible, in the present con¬ ditions, to propose the solution of the Berlin issue through the establishment of a demilitarised free-city status for West Berlin, so that no powers—not even the two German states—would have the right to interfere in its affairs. West Berlin should, in turn, commit itself not to allow on its territory any hostile or sub¬ versive activity directed against the Ger¬ man Democratic Republic or other states. This status of West Berlin should be recognised as binding, both by the four powers which took part in the administra¬ tion of Berlin after the war, and also by the German Democratic Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany. The United Nations could take part in one form or another in the observance of this status. In putting forward the proposal for giving West Berlin the status of a free city, of which the Soviet government has had an opportunity to inform the govern¬ ment of the German Democratic Repub¬ lic earlier, in a preliminary, unofficial manner, the government of the U.S.S.R. is well aware that the practical solution of this question calls for active assistance from the German Democratic Republic, including the ensuring of West Berlin’s transport communications in various directions with the outer world, for im¬ ports, exports and passenger traffic, as required by the normal economic develop¬ ment of such a social organism as indus¬ trial West Berlin, with its population of more than two millions. For its part, the Soviet Union is ready to see to it that the economy of indepen¬ dent West Berlin develops normally, without difficulties or interruptions, so that the living standards of the West Ber¬ lin population do not decline, but rise steadily, and so that all sections of the population may live a normal, peaceful life in the free city. The Soviet Union 38 would not only honour without fail the new status of West Berlin, but could assume a definite commitment to ensure the necessary orders for the industry of the city, and also to supply regularly, on a commercial basis, the necessary quan¬ tities of raw materials and foodstuffs. It is the view of the Soviet govern¬ ment that such a solution to the prob¬ lem of Berlin—a solution taking into account the political situation that actually exists—would be an important step towards the normalisation of the situation both in Berlin and throughout Germany. Indeed, acceptance of the free-city status for West Berlin would make for the solution of at least the following three problems: (a) An end would be put to the unjustified regime of foreign occupa¬ tion in West Berlin, and the historical capital of Germany would, thereby, be completely returned to the Germans. (b) The utilisation of West Berlin as a centre for espionage, subversion, slanderous propaganda and other forms of undermining activity against the German Democratic Republic and the other socialist states would be ended once and for all. The Soviet Union is also very much interested in this, as an ally of the German Demo¬ cratic Republic who, moreover, tem¬ porarily maintains, under the Warsaw Treaty, certain contingents of armed forces on the territory of the German Democratic Republic for the joint defence of both states. (c) One of the most dangerous centres of international tension existing at the present time would be elimi¬ nated, and the probability of a new war breaking out in Europe would thereby be greatly reduced. Moreover, the free city of West Berlin could be a factor promoting the normalisation of relations between the two German states. It could become a kind of centre for peaceful, fruitful contacts between Eastern and Western Ger¬ many, and this would promote a gradual rapprochement of the two parts of the country as the first step towards its unification — a cause actively championed by the German Democratic Republic. It goes without saying, of course, that the Soviet government is fully aware that consent to grant the status of a free city to West Berlin, situated as it is in the heart of the German Democratic Repub¬ lic, would be a big concession by the German Democratic Republic for the sake of strengthening peace in Germany and Europe, for the sake of the national interests of the German people as a whole. There can be no doubt that such a noble step by the German Democratic Republic would be rightly understood and greatly appreciated by German patriots throughout Germany, from the Oder to the Rhine, from the shores of the Baltic Sea to the Bavarian Alps. The Soviet government sincerely hopes that the government of the German Democratic Republic will display under¬ standing and sympathy for the afore¬ mentioned considerations regarding the termination of the occupation regime in Berlin and will, for its part, lend a help¬ ing hand in the achievement of this goal which is so important for the cause of peace in Europe and for the national interests of the German people. As for the Soviet Union, it has always developed its relations with the German people on the basis of mutual respect and equitable co-operation, which have nothing in common with the occupation regime. The best example of this is the fraternal relations which have developed between the Soviet Union and the Ger¬ man Democratic Republic, as equal mem¬ bers of the family of socialist states— relations which are prized by every Soviet citizen, who sees in them a guarantee of peace and of the Soviet people’s friend¬ ship with the entire German nation and, through this, a basic guarantee of lasting peace in Europe. The Soviet Union greatly appreciates the fact that the German Democratic Republic, in complete conformity with the principles of the Potsdam Agreement, has done away with militarism and monopoly domination in Eastern Ger¬ many, has boldly embarked upon the road of democratic development and is 39 consistently pursuing a peaceloving foreign policy. The Soviet people wholeheartedly rejoice at the German Democratic Repub¬ lic’s successes in socialist construction. They share with the patriots of the Ger¬ man Democratic Republic the feeling of unshakable confidence and legitimate pride arising from the results already achieved by the workers of the German Democratic Republic in consolidating their people’s state, and also from the far-reaching prospects for the country’s development mapped out by the Fifth Congress of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany. The recent elections to the People’s Chamber and the local organs of state power have once more conclusively shown the support of the republic’s population for the policy of the govern¬ ment and the bloc of democratic parties. The election returns have exploded the inventions of western propaganda con¬ cerning alleged instability of the people’s democratic system in the German Demo¬ cratic Republic. A convincing proof of the socialist system’s superiority are the great accom¬ plishments of the Soviet people—the loyal friend and ally of the German Democratic Republic. The Soviet Union has now entered a most important period of its development—the period of the extensive construction of a communist society. The proposals of the central committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union on the target figures for the development of the U.S.S.R.’s national economy from 1959 to 1965, which have recently been published, convincingly show that the Soviet Union has achieved an unparalleled flowering of all its material and spiritual forces, that it is truly advancing by seven- league strides along the road of building communism. Progress in all spheres of political, economic and cultural life is a charac¬ teristic feature of all the states which have embarked upon the road of socialism. Their victory in the great peaceful com¬ petition with the capitalist countries is an immutable law, because the new always triumphs over the old in every process of development. The successes achieved by the countries making up the fraternal community of the socialist states are the foundation of the might of the socialist camp and the guarantee of the success of its peaceloving policy in the international field. The strength of the socialist camp lies in its unbreakable unity. Always abiding by its foreign policy of peaceful co-existence and co-operation with all countries, the Soviet Union, in its relations with the countries of the socialist camp, proceeds on the basis of the principles of pro¬ letarian internationalism and close and unselfish fraternal co-operation. This, and only this, is the Soviet Union’s approach to its relations with the German Democratic Republic. The Soviet government will regard any encroachment by German militarists and revenge-seekers, or their allies on the frontiers or the security of the German Democratic Republic, as on its other allies, as an attack on the U.S.S.R. and all the countries that are signatories of the Warsaw Treaty. There can be no doubt that if there were hotheads ready to attempt aggres¬ sive actions against the German Demo¬ cratic Republic or the other socialist states united in a defensive alliance and acting in accordance with the motto “ Each for all and all for each,” they would be administered an immediate and crushing rebuff. The Soviet government has drawn attention to this circumstance in its Notes to the governments of the United States, the United Kingdom and France on the question of Berlin. A copy of the Note to the United States govern¬ ment is enclosed herewith for the information of the government of the German Democratic Republic. 40 SOVIET NOTE TO QOVERNMENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF QE RMANY ON THE QUESTION OF BERLIN on November 27, 1958 T HE government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics is addressing the government of the Federal Republic of Germany on the urgent question of the status of Berlin and is informing it of the content of its Notes on this question sent to the governments of the United States, the United Kingdom and France. A copy of the Note to the government of the United States is enclosed. Although the Federal Republic of Ger¬ many is known to have no direct connec¬ tion with the status of Berlin, neverthe¬ less, taking into consideration the impor¬ tance of Berlin, as the historical capital of Germany, for the entire German people and the existing economic relations and relations of other kinds between the western part of the city and the Federal Republic of Germany, the Soviet government considers it necessary to communicate the following to the Federal government in view of the measures planned for eliminating the remnants of the occupation regime in Berlin. In the eyes of the Soviet people, and of the peoples of the other countries as well, Berlin is not only a city where more than three million Germans live in the conditions of an unnatural division and constant political tension, but it is also an object lesson of the tragedy which the German people experienced as a result of the policy of aggression and war gambles pursued by Germany for decades. The ruins of the Reichstag, the debris on the site of the Reich Chan¬ cellory, the shells of wrecked houses only a few steps from rebuilt thoroughfares, and the vacant plots and gardens on the sites of former residential quarters still remind us of that. The most savage and sanguinary war in the history of mankind ended there, in Berlin, over 13 years ago, and fuel that threatens to flare up as a result of incidents which seem to be of local signi¬ ficance is again being piled up and is smouldering within the walls of the city, which has now become one of the most sensitive centres of differences and dangerous conflicts between two mighty groupings of powers. How can one explain the general apprehension caused by the present posi¬ tion of Berlin? The first and main cause is that the governments of the United States, the United Kingdom and France, taking advantage of the special rights granted by the Allied agreements on Ger¬ many, have isolated the western part of Berlin from the German Democratic Republic and have turned West Berlin into a kind of state within a state. They brandish weapons every time the question of the illegality of such a situation is raised and have even called West Berlin a front-line city. They are deliberately con¬ ditioning the world to the idea that Berlin is called upon to play the role of another Sarajevo, where the spark that kindled the flame of world war was struck in 1914. The western powers are using West Berlin for indirect aggression, having con¬ verted this part of the capital of the German Democratic Republic into an outpost where the intelligence and sabo¬ tage services are based conducting subversive activity against the German Democratic Republic and the Soviet forces that are on its territory in con¬ formity with the Warsaw Treaty, and against all the countries which are parties to this treaty. Dozens of espionage and sabotage centres, working for foreign 41 states, have been accommodated there and their provocative actions are in fact being carried out through the open doors between West and East Berlin, between West Berlin and the German Democratic Republic. Can any state tolerate a situation in which hostile activity against it is carried on almost openly from a city lying within that state? Even with the most biased approach, one cannot but agree that if such a state did not seek to protect itself from activity of that kind, it would be acting contrary to its own interests. The criminal activity of the numerous espionage centres imposes its sinister imprint on the entire life of West Berlin, corrupts and harms the young people, and keeps the population of West Berlin in a state of fear and uncertainty about their future. The disruption of West Berlin’s con¬ tacts with the adjacent economic areas of the German Democratic Republic and its severance from natural markets and sup¬ plies of raw materials, food and fuel have led to a disturbance and a decline in the economy of the western part of Berlin —a city which before the war was one of the major industrial and commercial centres of the world. Can one, for in¬ stance, regard as normal the fact that West Berlin’s industry has been kept for many years at prewar level, while this level has been more than doubled both in the German Democratic Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany? Does anyone benefit from West Berlin being in that economic position? It is obvious that quite the opposite is in the interests of the German Democratic Republic. As for the Federal Republic of Germany, West Berlin is a heavy financial burden to it, for according to the available information, some 8,000 million marks, collected from the West German taxpayers, have been spent since 1950 on covering the chronic deficit in the city budget. There is nothing to compensate for these expenditures except the very dubious “ convenience ” of carrying on subversive and sabotage activity from West Berlin against the German Demo¬ cratic Republic. No matter from what point of view the question of Berlin is approached— whether from the point of view of safe¬ guarding the interests of peace and im¬ proving the relations between the powers, or that of the requirements of Germany’s independent development and the restor¬ ation of a normal situation in the city itself-—it cannot but be admitted that there are more than enough reasons for terminating the four-power occupation status of Berlin. It is true that the western powers, judging by everything, would not be averse to continuing to keep their garrisons in West Berlin indefinitely. But such claims are quite groundless. The Allied agreements on which this status rested or which reaffirmed it—and primarily the most important of them, the Potsdam Agreement—have been grossly violated by the western powers and this has logically released the Soviet Union from the obligation to honour the agreements on Berlin, which are now obsolete. The Germans are better aware than anyone else of the western powers’ attitude to these agreements. Is it not graphically illustrated by the fact that, apart from technical contacts on air com¬ munications between Berlin and the Federal Republic of Germany, the only agency that has been preserved and is normally functioning in which represen¬ tatives of the four powers are co-oper¬ ating is the inter-allied prison in Spandau (West Berlin) where the main war criminals are detained? The Soviet government also regards as being utterly without foundation the statements by the governments of the three western powers to the effect that their right to be present in West Berlin arises from the fact of the surrender and the occupation of Germany. It is diffi¬ cult to take such statements seriously unless one closes one’s eyes to the fact that two independent states, enjoying international recognition, have existed in Germany for more than nine years. As for the Soviet Union, it is known to have established long since with the German Democratic Republic and the 42 Federal Republic of Germany the same relations as with other sovereign states. If the United States, the United Kingdom and France continue to reserve for them¬ selves special rights as occupationists (such as the right to proclaim a “ state of emergency ” in the Federal Republic of Germany), numerous privileges for their forces (including that of having the Federal Republic of Germany pay for their upkeep) and, lastly, the right to administer West Berlin through the mili¬ tary commandants—all this only expresses the desire of the three powers to continue to subordinate the internal and foreign policy of the Federal Repub¬ lic of Germany to their own strategic plans. They have mainly used the occu¬ pation of German territory in order to incite Western Germany against the Soviet Union, which bore the brunt of the struggle against nazi Germany. They have done, and are continuing to do the same thing with regard to West Berlin. The Soviet government would like to think that the Soviet Union's aim of eliminating the remnants of the occupa¬ tion regime in Germany and in Berlin will meet with a favourable attitude in the Federal Republic, where the patrio¬ tically-minded forces are seeking a way to achieve fulfilment of the desire for an independent policy and for the preserva¬ tion of a national way of life, which, of course, are being hindered by the remnants of the military occupation preserved by three foreign powers. The remnants of this regime have long since become a harmful burden weighing down on the relations between many states and preventing the German people from rising firmly to their feet and taking their place, as equals, in the community of nations. The Soviet government has never held that the Potsdam Agreement merely lays down certain conditions for Germany, merely imposes certain obligations on her. On the contrary, the Potsdam Agreement imposes serious obligations, as regards the German people, on the victor powers as well. In addition to providing for the eradication of German militarism and nazism and for safeguards against Germany ever again menacing her neighbours or world peace, the Pots¬ dam Agreement stipulates that the signa¬ tory powers should regard Germany as a single economic whole, that the occu¬ pation of German territory by foreign troops should be of a temporary, transient nature and that a peaceful settlement should be prepared for Germany. If these provisions of the Potsdam Agree¬ ment, which are of vital importance for the German nation, have not been carried out, the responsibility for this rests not only with the three western powers but also with the government of the Federal Republic of Germany. It is Western Germany’s opposition that has nullified the efforts of the Soviet Union towards the development of Germany as a united, peaceful and democratic state and towards the conclusion of a just peace treaty with Germany. Such gross violations of the letter and spirit of Potsdam as the establishment of a state isolated from Eastern Germany, the entry of the Federal Republic of Germany into an exclusive western military grouping (N.A.T.O.), the revival of aggresive militarist forces in Western Germany, the establishment of a regular army and the policy of equipping the Bundeswehr with atomic and rocket weapons, would have been impossible without the support and active participa¬ tion of Western Germany. The govern¬ ment of the Federal Republic is responsible for the unlawful trial staged against the Communist Party of Germany, in which the verdict was in open violation of the Potsdam Agree¬ ment providing for freedom of action for democratic political parties in Germany. It is significant that the repre¬ sentative of the Federal government declared at the trial that the republic's authorities did not consider themselves bound by the Potsdam Agreement. I NSTEAD of pursuing a policy of peace¬ fulness and respect for the interests of other states, as required by the Potsdam Agreement, the government of the Federal Republic proclaimed a “policy of strength.” It is well known, however, that every action produces a reaction. Anyone attempting to pursue a policy based on strength, especially with regard 43 to such a state as the Soviet Union, must realise that the Soviet Union will, in reply, rely on its own strength and, naturally, on the support of its War¬ saw Treaty allies. Meanwhile, it is obvious that a policy of invoking the right of might is not a realistic one for the Federal Republic of Germany. It merely leads to a worsening of relations, to con¬ flicts and, ultimately, to war. The Soviet people refuse to believe that Germans living in the Federal Republic want this, for to follow this road would be to court an even greater tragedy than the one the German nation experienced in the recent past. The Soviet people, who have tasted to the full the sorrows and horrors of war, can appreciate better than anyone else the extent of the catastrophe which befell Germany, the anguish of the be¬ reaved German families. The Volga steppes and the plains of the Ukraine, Byelorussia, Poland and other countries where the nazi army passed are dotted with crosses marking the graves of Ger¬ man soldiers. There are millions of them. It is hard to believe that Germans have forgotten this and that they have not cursed war. And today, a military con¬ flict started by the Federal Republic of Germany would—taking into considera¬ tion modern means of warfare and the Federal Republic’s position as N.A.T.O.’s front line—inevitably turn the terri¬ tory of Western Germany into one vast theatre of military operations in which the belligerents would explode the maximum quantity of thermonuclear weapons. If any part of the population were to be left alive after this, they would not be capable of continuing to live. No one in his right mind, if he has any knowledge of modern weapons of mass destruction, can deny this. Have not the German people had to learn—■ literally by suffering—the harsh but just lesson of history that there is nothing more dangerous, more insane for Ger¬ many than to covet the east and regard it as an object of conquest and a source of gain? In our day, to march on the east would mean, for Germany, march¬ ing to death. The future of Germany is not in the glory of her arms but in peaceful communion with her neigh¬ bours. This communion alone can pro¬ vide the necessary scope for the fullest revelation of the great technical and spiritual talents of the German people, renowned for their industry, and ensure the country’s economic prosperity. It is not yet too late to renounce the dangerous “ policy of strength ” followed by the government of the Federal Re¬ public of Germany, and to replace it by a policy of friendship and co-operation based on the development of commercial, economic and cultural ties—a policy that would help to bring about a normal situation in Europe and would release the people from constant nervous strain, enable them to go freely about their busi¬ ness, bring up their children without fear for their future, and to enjoy peace and quiet. This turn in the policy of the Federal Republic would meet with an appropriate response on the part of the Soviet Union, which sincerely wants to be friends with the Federal Republic and wishes the people of Germany nothing but good. The regrettable fact that the German problem remains unsolved is a direct re¬ sult of the fact that the three western powers and the Federal Republic of Ger¬ many have departed from the principles of the Potsdam Agreement and the Fede¬ ral government has adhered to the N.A.T.O. policy. In actual fact, the German people are today as far from the re-establishment of their national unity as they were in the first months after the end of the Second World War, and this goal is made even more remote by the utterly unjustified absence of a peace treaty. The Soviet Union is on the side of those forces of the German people which are pressing for Germany’s reunification along peaceful and democratic lines. But the Soviet government can only express its wishes. It cannot interfere in the internal affairs of the Germans or bring pressure to bear on them. Naturally, it does not recognise the right of any other power to impose its will on either of the German states. In the present conditions, when two 44 Germanies, two German states with different social systems, have developed, the Soviet government sees no promising way to the country’s reunification other than through gradual rapprochement be¬ tween the two German states and the establishment by them of common government agencies, that is to say, the establishment of a German confeder¬ ation, as has been suggested by the government of the German Demo¬ cratic Republic. The longer the government of the Federal Republic of Germany keeps on turning down this proposal, the more it will expose itself as an opponent of German unity. The professions of Federal government states¬ men responsible for the country’s foreign policy that they seek this unity change nothing, inasmuch as they are refuted by facts, by the real policy of the Fede¬ ral government, which is further widen¬ ing the gulf between the two German states. The Soviet government has carefully studied the Note of the Federal govern¬ ment of November 17, this year, putting forward its views concerning the estab¬ lishment of a four-power commission for considering the German question. It should be noted, unfortunately, that the position of the government of the Fede¬ ral Republic of Germany is still un¬ realistic as regards the functions of this commission, since it again submits the question of Germany’s reunification for discussion by representatives of the four powers. At the same time, the Note pushes into the background the question of a peace treaty with Germany and relegates it to a position of secon¬ dary importance, even though the pre¬ paration of the treaty is, so to speak, the threshold to the settlement of the Ger¬ man problem as a whole. True, there has been no lack of efforts to picture the latest Note as a compro¬ mise proposal of some kind. In point of fact, however, there is not the slightest hint of a desire to meet half way the proposals of the government of the Ger¬ man Democratic Republic, which consti¬ tute a programme for the peaceful re¬ unification of Germany that is feasible in practice in the existing situation. This, Note is a reflection of the old orientation towards absorption of the German Democratic Republic rather than negotia¬ tions. But if one approaches the ques¬ tion of German reunification in this way* one must take account of the fact that the German Democratic Republic has, no less reason to raise the question of abolishing the scheme of things existing; in the Federal Republic of Germany. It is clear that this approach leads, not to> the attainment of the national aims of the Germans, but to an even greater- deadlock. The Soviet government has repeatedly explained that neither the U.S.S.R. nor the U.S.A., nor any other state is entitled to consider the problem of the reunifica¬ tion of the German Democratic Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany.. This should be done by the Germans ins Eastern and Western Germany them¬ selves, when they are ready and want to. do so. It is their affair and they them¬ selves should reach agreement on it. The Soviet government considers it necessary to draw the Federal govern¬ ment’s attention once again to the pro¬ posal of the German Democratic Repub¬ lic for the establishment of an appro¬ priate commission composed of represen¬ tatives of both German states, which, in« addition to working out a common Ger¬ man viewpoint on questions related to the preparation of a peace treaty with Ger¬ many, would consider measures necessary for the restoration of Germany’s national unity along democratic and peaceful lines. At the same time, the Soviet gov¬ ernment reaffirms its readiness to take* part at any time in talks on the prepara¬ tion of a peace treaty with Germany. In view of the Federal government’s, refusal to establish contacts with the government of the German Democratic Republic for the reunification of Ger¬ many, no one can say how long the present situation, that is to say, Ger¬ many’s division into two states, will per¬ sist. But in that case what is to be done' with West Berlin, which constitutes a constant source of tension and potential- conflicts, an abscess, as it were, which 45 plagues Germany and the whole of Europe? Obviously everything should be done in good time to improve the situation in that city. Guided by this and also proceeding from the principle of unqualified respect for the sovereignty of the German Democratic Republic, the Soviet govern¬ ment will at the appropriate moment •enter into negotiations with the govern¬ ment of the German Democratic Repub¬ lic on transferring to the German Democratic Republic the functions which Soviet organs have been exercising tem¬ porarily under the terms of the Allied agreements on Germany and Berlin and under the agreement between the U.S.S.R. and the German Democratic Republic of September 20, 1955. In so doing, what is intended is that the German Democratic Republic, like any other independent state, should have full jurisdiction over matters concerning its space, that is to say, should exercise its sovereignty on land, on water and in the air. In addition, the Soviet government suggests that West Berlin be granted the status of a free and demilitarised city which should have its own government and other bodies for its self-government. The Soviet government’s proposals to this effect are set forth in its Note to the government of the United States which is enclosed herewith. In order to avoid a wrong interpreta¬ tion of the steps it is suggesting, the Soviet government considers it useful to stress the following: The Soviet government does not envisage the inclusion of West Berlin in the German Democratic Republic, just as it itself is not seeking territorial or any other forms of aggrandisement. There can be no question of a mechanical merger of the two parts of the city, if only because two different ways of life exist on the two sides of the Branden¬ burg Gate—the socialist way of life in East Berlin and one based on private ownership in West Berlin. In other words, what the Soviet Union advocates is not a breaking up of the established order, but the existence of West Berlin in a way desired by its population. If the people of West Berlin want the social system they have now, that is their will, and the Soviet Union will respect the free city regardless of its state and social system. The Soviet government is ready to sign with other states a guarantee of the independence of the free city of West Berlin. The United Nations might also take part in safeguarding these guaran¬ tees. Of course, in view of the insular position of West Berlin, the need for some form of agreement with the German Democratic Republic would arise, in order to ensure unhindered com¬ munications between the free city and the outside world, both eastward and westward, with the object of free pas¬ senger and goods traffic into and out of the city. West Berlin, in turn, would have to undertake to prevent any hostile sub¬ versive activity from within its confines against the state on whose territory it is situated. It would have to be a demili¬ tarised city. The Soviet government, for its part, solemnly declares that it will do every¬ thing necessary to ensure the normal existence of the free city as an indepen¬ dent economic entity. The Soviet govern¬ ment does not see any obstacles to the development of a stable and sound economic life in the free city. It is pre¬ pared, if need be, to contribute to the full-time working of West Berlin enter¬ prises and to supply, on a commercial basis, the necessary raw materials and foodstuffs. It is the wish of the Soviet government that the change in the status of West Berlin, its transformation into a free city, may benefit the people of West Berlin, that West Berlin may trade freely with whomsoever it finds it profitable to trade, that its industry and crafts may develop, and that all the prerequisites may be created for raising the level of employ¬ ment and the people’s wellbeing. In its approach to the question of end¬ ing the occupation status of Berlin, the Soviet government proceeds from the assumption that the measures it suggests will be carried out in six months’ time, in order to enable the three western 46 powers, and also the Federal Republic of Germany, to prepare for the change in the status of Berlin and to make this change painless in every respect. It regards this period as quite sufficient for the U.S.S.R., the United States, the United Kingdom and France to find a sound foundation for the solution of problems related to changes in the status of Berlin and for holding talks, if need be, between the city authorities of the two parts of Berlin and between the German Democratic Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany for a settlement of problems that might arise. In the course of this period the parties concerned will be able to prove in deeds, by settling the question of Berlin, their desire for the easing of international tension. The Soviet government considers that the elimination of the vestiges of the occupation regime in Berlin will be a great service to peace and to the establishment of a normal situation in Germany. It hopes that the Federal government wifi show a proper understanding of the motives which prompt the Soviet Union to take the measures set forth in this Note and in the Notes to the govern¬ ments of the United States, the United Kingdom and France. N. S. KHRUSHCHOV REPLIES TO QUESTIONS OF WEST GERMAN CORRESPONDENT N. S. Khrushchov, Chairman of the U.S.S.R. Council of Ministers, has replied to a number of questions put to him by Hans Kempski, chief correspondent of the West German newspaper Siiddeutsche Zeitung. Below we publish the correspondent’s questions and N. S. Khrushchov’s replies: QUESTION: Could you describe in greater detail the status of the free city of West Berlin ? ANSWER: The Soviet government’s proposals for doing away with the ves¬ tiges of the occupation regime in Berlin and for turning West Berlin into an independent political entity—a demilit¬ arised free city—give an idea of what West Berlin would be like. In our view West Berlin must be a free city in whose economic and political life no country, including the existing German states, can interfere. The free city of West Berlin will have its own constitution, based on democratic principles. The constitution should en¬ sure all the citizens of West Berlin, regardless of political or religious con¬ victions, the fundamental human rights and principal freedoms, including free¬ dom of speech and of the press, free¬ dom of assembly and of association, and freedom of conscience. The legislative power will be vested in a freely elected parliament, and the executive power in the government the parliament appoints. The city will also have its own idependent judicature. As regards the economic aspect, the free city of West Berlin will be a single unit with its own budget, its bank, cur¬ rency circulation and taxation system. The revenues will all go to the city bud¬ get, and will not be pumped out of West Berlin taxpayers’ pockets for the military preparations of the Federal Republic of Germany and the upkeep of foreign occupation troops in West Berlin. Given an appropriate agreement, the industrial output of the West Berlin undertakings would be exported both to the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic, as well as to all other countries with which the free city establishes business contacts, without any restrictions. The stability and advance¬ ment of the city’s economy will also be ensured by the development of all-round, mutually beneficial economic relations with the countries of the East and West. For its part, the Soviet Union is ready 47 to provide the industry of the free city with orders and raw materials, thereby ensuring the full employment of the population and a sound, well-balanced economy. The Soviet government proposes that West Berlin should be demilitarised and should not have any foreign armed forces on its territory. It goes without saying that the free city will have the necessary police formations to maintain law and order in the city. Some advocates of per¬ petuating the occupation regime in Ber¬ lin are now trying to assert that if the troops of the three western powers leave the city. West Berlin will, so they allege, lose all protection. We are confident that the opposite is the case: precisely the absence of American tanks and British guns in the streets of West Berlin, and its tranformation into a free city, will create an atmosphere of tranquillity and will guarantee the appropriate security. It is hardly possible to imagine better guarantees for the security of West Berlin than the commitments of the four great powers and the two German states. These commitment-guarantees may, if necessary, be recorded with the United Nations. The Soviet Union and the German Democratic Republic are ready to take part in these guarantees with a view to observing the status of the free city. Only the western powers are still refusing to do so. It is appropriate to ask: Where does the threat to the status of the future free city come from—from the East or West? In this connection we cannot fail to note the absurdity of statements about some mythical plans of the German Democra¬ tic Republic for seizing West Berlin. Isn’t it clear that if such plans were a reality, the Soviet Union, as an ally of the German Democratic Republic under the Warsaw Treaty, would not be coming forward with a proposal for granting West Berlin the status of a free city and would not be expressing its readiness to take part in guaranteeing its security. Moreover, for the sake of easing tension in Germany and Europe, the German Democratic Republic is making no small sacrifice by agreeing to the existence of a free city in the heart of the republic and by guaranteeing the unobstructed communication of this city with the East and the West. Those who insist that the stay of a certain number of western troops in Berlin is necessary in order to safeguard the present situation there, should learn to assess the existing situation in a realistic way. Indeed, if there were reasons for solving the Berlin question by force, would the presence of some troops in West Berlin constitute an insur¬ mountable obstacle, with the modem means of warfare available ? On the contrary, the stay of these troops in Berlin is precisely what creates the “ cancerous tumour ” which all the peaceloving peoples, and above all the German people themselves, fear may grow to a size when conflicts, and then open military clashes, would break out. Precisely for this reason we propose to> do away with this malignant tumour, sa as to create conditions which, instead of increasing tension in Europe, would, on the contrary, eliminate it and create a favourable climate for peaceful co¬ existence. The implementation of our proposal will lay the foundation for eas¬ ing and improving the atmosphere in Europe and eliminating such a hotbed in Berlin. Given the appropriate understanding and good relations, favourable pre¬ requisites would be created for solving other still more complicated questions, and particularly the question of with¬ drawing the troops, so that the armed 1 forces of the two opposing military groupings would not have direct contact, which would create a kind of disengage¬ ment zone. For our part, we are ready to reduce the number of troops stationed in the German Democratic Republic, on condition that the western powers agree to cut their own forces stationed in Western Germany. We are even ready to withdraw our troops to the national fron¬ tiers from the territories of the European countries where they are now temporarily stationed, if the Western powers do the same. If these proposals of ours were accepted, we would be ready to establish control over the reduction and with¬ drawal of foreign troops from both 48 German states. There is hardly any need to demonstrate the advantages arising from the withdrawal of foreign troops from German territory. I am sure that this step would bring the German people a substantial alleviation. I should like to reply, in this connec¬ tion, to certain gas-bags who concoct fabrications about the Soviet Union in¬ tending to seize West Berlin. Their speculation on this subject is merely stupid. Such an allegation can only be made by people who want, whatever the cost, to perpetuate the present tension, while we are striving to create conditions for the ending of the “ cold war,” to create an atmosphere which would not poison relations among the great powers, and not only among them for that matter. We are sincerely striving to dispel the sinister clouds of a third world war that is now being prepared by certain people. Who else, if not the Germans in the two German states, who have paid a toll of many human lives and colossal material wealth in wars, and particularly in the last war, should know what war is really like ? They are fed up with wars and, I have no doubt, are against the prepara¬ tion of a third world war. The implementation of the Soviet pro¬ posals would create favourable conditions for a more rational use of materials and finances, would prevent the draining of national budgets to meet military needs, and would make them available for rais¬ ing the peoples’ living standards. The status of a free city does not impose any onerous obligations on West Berlin or its residents. We propose only one thing : West Berlin must not permit any hostile, subversive activity or propa¬ ganda on its territory against any other state, and above all against the German Democratic Republic. And furthermore, the residents of this city will stand to gain from this—in the first place the very same residents who are now becoming entangled, against their will, in the webs of various espionage and subversive organisations, thereby gravely endanger¬ ing their own lives. These are some of the considerations which, in our opinion, could be used for preparing a free city status for West Ber¬ lin. Of course, this question must be thoroughly thrashed out, and the Ger¬ mans themselves could make a big con¬ tribution to this effort. In the discussion on the question of turning West Berlin into a demilitarised free city, the Soviet Union is ready, of course, to put forward a more detailed definition of its status. QUESTION : What questions connected with the status of West Berlin does the Soviet government believe could be the subject of talks between the four great powers, and what questions are not sub¬ jects for such a discussion ? ANSWER : In its Notes to the govern¬ ments of the three western powers the Soviet government has declared that the best solution to the Berlin question would be that based on the fulfilment of the Potsdam Agreement on Germany. This would stipulate the return of the western powers to the Potsdam principles, to a joint policy with the Soviet Union on the German question. In that case, the question would arise of annulling the decisions taken in violation of the Pots¬ dam Agreement, and above all of its military injunctions. It goes without say¬ ing that these questions should be the subject of a quadripartite discussion. It is true that everything indicates that the western powers do not want to give up their policy of turning Western Germany into N.A.T.O.’s main atomic and rocket base, into a militarist state whose entire life is being directed, already at the present time, along the road to war and revenge, although that road means disaster for the Federal Republic of Germany. Striving to put an end to the abnormal situation in Berlin, the Soviet Union has proposed to the western powers that talks be started on granting West Berlin the status of a demilitarised free city. Besides the propositions I have set forth —propositions determining the status of the free city—all the technical questions relating to the final elimination of the vestiges of the occupation of Berlin could be the subject of talks. We would 49 be ready to consider possible western specifications and amendments. I take the second part of your question to mean that you allow for possible western attempts to prevent the elimina¬ tion of the vestiges of the occupation regime in Berlin and to question the right of the Soviet Union to transfer to the German Democratic Republic the func¬ tions temporarily discharged by the Soviet side. In the event of the western powers refusing to grant the status of a free city to West Berlin, there will be no basis left for talks with the western powers on the Berlin question. We declare once again that we do not need the consent of the western powers in order to implement the steps we plan to take in Berlin, and no claims of theirs to this effect will stop us. It is also absolutely clear that the Soviet government will not betray the principles of non-interference in the internal affairs of other states and will not discuss with the three western powers those aspects of the German problem which can and must be solved by the Germans, and only by them. We wish to tell those who are trying to make us engage in such interference that their efforts are futile and only show how far the persons who are making those attempts are from understanding the actual situation in Germany, and what a thick mist shrouds their eyes. QUESTION: What actions by the western powers would you regard as frustration of the Soviet proposals ? ANSWER : The best thing for the western powers to do, if they really want to ease tension in Europe and do away with points of potential danger, would be to accept the Soviet proposal to turn West Berlin into a demilitarised free city. If the western powers refuse to accept the Soviet proposals on the Berlin question, and this is the most they can do, they will be unable, all the same, to prevent steps from being taken to eliminate the vestiges of occupation in Berlin—steps which depend on the Soviet Union—because these vestiges must and will be done away with. I do not care to say that in the event of the western powers refusing to seek, together with the Soviet Union, for a reasonable basis to do away with the occupation regime in West Berlin, they will expose themselves before the Ger¬ man people—and not only before them, for that matter—as advocates of the occupation regime for an indefinitely long period. Continuing the occupation of West Berlin means contributing to carrying on and even stepping up the cold war. The preservation of this regime can be explained only by a desire on the part of the western powers to prepare for a hot war. There is, and there can be, no other explanation because, if statesmen of the countries on which this depends really want to create normal conditions and eliminate everything that is fraught with the danger of war, then nothing better than our proposals can be thought of. If some other ways and means for eliminating tension were indicated, we would gladly consider and accept them. But it seems to us that in our proposals we have exhausted all the possibilities and we hope that tomorrow, if not today, those responsible for the destiny of the world will realise the timely and reason¬ able nature of our proposals. The western powers have violated the commitments they assumed towards the end of the war to do away with aggres¬ sive German militarism. The Soviet Union is bound by no commitments with regard to the equipping of Western Ger¬ many with atomic weapons, which is being carried out by the western powers. If the western powers do not accept our proposals for eliminating the danger spot in West Berlin, it will confirm that their actions are directed towards an early completion of the arming of Western Germany and preparation for a third world war. Therefore we shall press with increasing insistence for ending the present situation in West Berlin. Some hot-headed western military leaders permit themselves to make irres¬ ponsible statements to the effect that armed forces and tanks would be used to clear the way to Berlin. But isn’t it clear that this would mean war, because the other side also has tanks and other more powerful weapons which would not 50 remain inactive. We do not believe that the West wants to unleash war in connec¬ tion with the Soviet Union’s proposal to abolish the last vestiges of the occupation regime in Berlin and in connection with the fact that the German Democratic Republic will gain complete sovereignty after taking over the functions tempor¬ arily discharged by the Soviet side. But if, to our regret, this does happen, and if the frontier along the Elbe is violated and aggression against the German Dem¬ ocratic Republic is committed, then the Soviet Union, as a loyal ally of the Ger¬ man Democratic Republic under the Warsaw Treaty, will fulfil its commit¬ ments and, together with the German Democratic Republic, will safeguard the integrity of the republic’s land, water and air frontiers. The entire responsibility for the consequences will be borne by those who try to ensure by force their domination over territory belonging to another state, that is to say, to violate the sovereignty of the German Demo¬ cratic Republic. Therefore the best solu¬ tion to the problem would be to stop playing war and settle the Berlin question with due consideration for the interests of our peoples and our future. QUESTION : What is your attitude to the arming of the Federal Republic of Germany with atomic weapons ? ANSWER : Those who advocate arming the Bundeswehr with nuclear and rocket weapons are trying to present matters as if the measures they are taking in this direction are necessary in order to pro¬ tect the Federal Republic of Germany from some “ threat ” coming from the East, and would consolidate the security of the Federal Republic. It is not diffi¬ cult to see that these allegations, to say the least, have nothing in common with the truth. The talk about a “threat” coming from the Soviet Union is a case of deception and the purpose of this is to justify measures aimed at including the Federal Republic in the atomic and rocket race and to make the West Ger¬ man population hate the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union has never waged any aggressive wars—such wars are foreign to the very nature of our state. The U.S.S.R. does not intend, and never has intended, to attack either the Federal Republic of Germany or any other state. The threat of “ local attacks ” on the Federal Republic by the Soviet Union, with which the Federal Republic’s Defence Minister Strauss recently tried to scare the West German population, is an absurd fabrication invented to meet the needs of revenge-seekers and milit¬ arists. Western Germany as a state would undoubtedly stand to gain and would earn the confidence of neighbouring peoples if it called to order the ill-starred strategists in the Federal Republic who continue to slander peaceloving states and foment revenge-seeking passions among the German population. The Soviet government fully shares the opinion of the West German circles who maintain that nuclear weapons cannot be instrumental in ensuring the security of the Federal Republic of Germany and that the arming of the Bundeswehr with these weapons and the siting of these weapons on West German territory are fraught with danger of the destruc¬ tion of the Federal Republic of Germany and spell death for millions upon millions of Germans, since all these mea¬ sures are pushing Western Germany fur¬ ther and further along the road of war preparations. Only politically blind and' ignorant people can fail to see the hor¬ rible prospects which are being prepared for the Federal Republic of Germany by those who are shaping the present military and political course of this state. We get the impression that those who advocate the nuclear arming of the Federal Republic either do not realise to the full the danger to which they are exposing the West German population or are doing this deliberately. In either case they are committing a crime by pushing the Federal Republic of Germany on to a disastrous road. QUESTION : Do you continue to sup¬ port the proposals for a confederation of the German states ? ANSWER : The Soviet government has repeatedly stated that the reunification of Germany is an internal matter for the two German states. The solution of this 51 question can be effected only by the Germans themselves; it cannot be intro¬ duced or imposed by someone from out¬ side. One cannot but be astonished by the statements of responsible officials of the western powers and the Federal Republic of Germany that the Americans and the British are better qualified to solve the task of restoring Germany’s unity than the Germans themselves. This by no means signifies that the great powers could not play a definite part in .restoring the unity of Germany by facili¬ tating a rapprochement of the two Ger¬ man states. But the western powers do not want to promote this; they prefer to give advice to the Germans. This attitude of the western powers and the Federal Republic with regard to re¬ unification is unrealistic. Let us be frank. The people in the German Democratic Republic are build¬ ing socialism, while the capitalist sys¬ tem still exists in the western part of the country. Only people who are com¬ pletely divorced from reality can suggest a mechanical merger of two different states. Given such an attitude, the cause of reunification cannot be extricated from deadlock. Proceeding on the basis of the situ¬ ation that actually prevails—the existence of two sovereign German states with different social and economic systems— the government of the German Demo¬ cratic Republic has put forward a con¬ structive plan for the reunification of Germany through setting up a confede¬ ration. This idea is gaining ground every day. Increasingly broad sections of the German population approve of this proposal of the government of the German Democratic Republic. You are well aware that the Soviet government fully supports the initiative of the Ger¬ man Democratic Republic. In the pre¬ sent situation the formation of a con¬ federation is a reliable and practical way to establish a united democratic German state. No doubt you also know that in spite of the favourable prospects opened up by the proposal for a confederation, Chancellor Adenauer rejects this way— the only realistic way—of reuniting Ger¬ many. This shows once again that the ruling circles of the Federal Republic of Germany are using talk about German unity merely as a smokescreen and that in actual fact they are enemies of this unity. They do not want the reunifica¬ tion of the country, but only talk about reunification. In actual fact Adenauer and his henchmen fear the reunification of Germany, since the establishment of a united, peaceloving, democratic Ger¬ many would mean the collapse of their plans for making Western Germany the main striking force of the aggressive N.A.T.O. military bloc and the collapse of their plans for aggression and revenge. If the Federal Chancellor were really concerned for the restoration of the country’s unity, would he then come out as the inspirer of a campaign for con¬ tinuing the occupation of West Berlin indefinitely? Why is he doing this? In any case, it is not being done in the interests of the West Berlin population, who have to put up with the occupation regime. Nor is it being done, naturally, ill the interests of a detente and the establishment of normal relations between neighbouring countries. Or let us take the question of a peace treaty with Germany. It is indeed un¬ believable that the head of the govern¬ ment of one of the existing German states does not want to conclude a peace treaty through negotiations with the Soviet Union and the three western powers—the leading participants in the anti-Hitler coalition—and with the par¬ ticipation of the two sovereign German states which have emerged on the terri¬ tory of Germany. Chancellor Adenauer, like his N.A.T.O. partners, is apparently striving for some other peace treaty which would actually abolish the Ger¬ man Democratic Republic. But no sober- minded person can expect this to be accepted. What grounds are there for raising the question of abolishing the German Democratic Republic—the first state of workers and peasants in German history? In that case the Germans in the German Democratic Republic could suggest the abolition of the Federal Re- 52 public of Germany and reunite the coun¬ try on the basis of the socialist principles on which the German Democratic Re¬ public is based. But it is obvious that neither of these two approaches to the question is realistic. The only practical possibility of solving the German ques¬ tion once and for all is through a peace¬ ful settlement with Germany. In concluding a peace treaty with Ger¬ many, the existence of the two German states must undoubtedly be taken into consideration and they must be invited to take part in the negotiations of the four great powers. This would be the most reasonable solution to the problem and would be welcomed by the people of all countries, who yearn for tension to be eased and peace guaranteed. But if the Federal Chancellor insists on some¬ thing else, this means that he is pur¬ suing certain aims other than a guarantee of peace. It means that he is pursuing a dangerous policy “ from positions of strength.” He wants to create an army and wants to arm it with atomic weapons; he wants to pursue a policy of force. Thus it follows that Chancellor Adenauer is pursuing a policy which may lead to disaster, to the collapse of Wes¬ tern Germany, since in present condi¬ tions, with the existence of modern weapons of mass destruction, war would be of a devastating nature. This is monstrous, of course, but this is a fact, and we must not shut our eyes to it. We would like to believe that the sound patriotic forces which exist in Western Germany and are concerned for the destiny of their people, will correctly understand this in good time and do everything in their power to prevent the unleashing of a third world war. STATEMENT BY FOREIGN MINISTER GROMYKO IN USSR SUPREME SOVIET ON DECEMBER 25 Answers Deputies’ Questions on Berlin On December 24, 1958, at the morning sitting of both chambers of the U.S.S.R. Supreme Soviet, a group of Deputies asked the following question: “ On November 27 the Soviet govern¬ ment sent a Note on the Berlin question to the governments of the United States, Britain and France, and also to the governments of the German Democratic Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany. This Note contained a pro¬ posal by the Soviet government that West Berlin be converted into a demilitarised free city. “ As far as we know, the governments of the western powers have still not replied to this proposal of the govern¬ ment of the Soviet Union. At the same time, statesmen of the Western powers are distorting the motives of the Soviet Union’s actions and are striving to retain the occupation regime in West Berlin at all costs. “ We ask the government to inform the U.S.S.R. Supreme Soviet about the attitude of the governments of the west¬ ern powers to the Soviet government’s proposal on the Berlin question and about the present situation with regard to the Berlin question.” In a statement in reply to the Deputies’ question, made at a joint session of the two chambers of the Supreme Soviet on December 25, Foreign Minister Gromyko said the following : Now, Comrades Deputies, about the situation with regard to the question of Berlin. You are aware, of course, of the Soviet government’s proposals for solv¬ ing this question by converting West Berlin into a demilitarised free city. These proposals, on which the attention 53 of literally the whole world is now focused, were sent to the governments of the United States, Britain and France, as well as to the governments of the German Democratic Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany in special Soviet government Notes at the end of November. These Notes have been published, their contents are known and there is no need now to recount them in detail. At the outset, it would be as well to note how the Soviet government’s initiative with regard to the Berlin ques¬ tion has been received, how the govern¬ ments and public opinion of various countries have reacted to it. First of all, it is necessary to state that the Soviet government’s proposals on the Berlin question have been warmly approved by the government and people of the country which is affected most of all by this issue. I refer to the German Democratic Republic, on whose territory, it will be remembered, Berlin is situated and whose capital Berlin is. Reports from the German Democratic Republic show that the population there welcome the proposals of the U.S.S.R. which are aimed at abolishing the occu¬ pation of West Berlin and at a peaceful solution of the Berlin issue. From statements by government leaders of the German Democratic Republic and a special letter on the Berlin question from the central com¬ mittee of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany to the central committee of our party, we know that the leadership of the German Democratic Republic, expressing the will of the population, supports the plan for creating a free city of West Berlin and considers that this would serve well the cause of peace and the cause of solving the national problem of the German people—the reunification of Germany. To that end the German Democratic Republic is prepared to make a con¬ cession and to agree to West Berlin becoming a free and demilitarised city. This position of our friends in the German Democratic Republic cannot but gladden the Soviet people. It may be assessed as striking proof of the desire of that socialist state to make its contribution to the cause of strengthen¬ ing peace in Europe and help create conditions for the peaceful reunification of Germany. The Soviet government’s proposals have likewise met with the approval and support of the peoples and governments of a number of other European, and not only European, states, because everyone is aware that the significance of the Berlin question goes far beyond Europe. For it is precisely in Berlin that the western powers most strikingly demon¬ strate their dangerous policy of “ brink¬ manship.” As a result of this a situation has arisen in which one incautious move, some provocative act by N.A.T.O. generals could cause a conflict which would affect the whole world, with grave consequences to all nations. Therefore, it is understandable that all those who really cherish peace welcome the Soviet proposals, which are aimed at removing as soon as possible the malignant tumour which the occu¬ pation regime in West Berlin has now become, and thus ensure the possibility of a normal, healthy development of relations between the states in Europe. As long as the Berlin issue is not solved, as long as the occupation regime exists in West Berlin, there can be no question of eliminating tension in Germany or in Europe, and it will be impossible to put an end to the “ cold war.” Unfortunately, one cannot say that the position now taken by the govern¬ ments of the western powers with regard to the Soviet proposals is evidence that they have soberly assessed the whole seriousness of the situation prevailing in Berlin and have correctly understood the intentions of the Soviet Union. We have not yet received an answer from the western powers to the Soviet govern¬ ment’s Notes of November 27. The Soviet government awaits that answer. But one should plainly say: The western powers’ statements and docu¬ ments that have been published so far in connection with the proposals of the U.S.S.R. on the Berlin question do not accord with the real state of affairs and do not conform to the interests of peace. Instead of giving a businesslike and con- 54 structive answer to the Soviet Union’s proposals, they are trying to seek out some “ hidden motives ” that they allege the Soviet government had for making these proposals. But the Soviet government has noth¬ ing to conceal. In making its proposals on the Berlin question it is guided by the sole desire to put an end to the dangerous situation prevailing in West Berlin. If this is not done the danger will further increase of West Berlin becoming a second Sarajevo, where in June, 1914, the shot was fired which set off the conflagration of the First World War. It would be a good thing if the governments of the western powers would realise all this and would agree to direct and honest talks with the Soviet Union on jointly settling the Berlin question in the interests of peace. Unfortunately, so far they are acting in another way. The Soviet govern¬ ment’s proposals are being misrepre¬ sented and misinterpreted in all sorts of ways in the West. Not only the press, but even responsible statesmen are taking the liberty of shouting about the U.S.S.R.’s desire “ to seize ” West Ber¬ lin. Any impartial observer will clearly see that this is a complete invention. The Soviet Union has no need to “ seize ” West Berlin. It has never thought of wanting to. On the contrary, the Soviet government’s proposals provide, as is well known, for the creation of reliable guarantees to the effect that no state will interfere in the affairs of the free city of West Berlin. This should pre¬ clude the possibility of West Berlin’s territory and resources being used to further one-sided interests of any power. But if this is called seizure, what then should one call respect for the sovereign rights of others and non-interference in their internal affairs? The western governments continue to claim a kind of “ occupation right ” that supposedly allows, even well-nigh obliges, them to keep their troops, tanks and guns in West Berlin. Here they allude forcefully to Allied agreements concluded during and right after the war. But they say not a word about the fact that they themselves have for a long time violated most grossly the provisions of these agreements whose aim was to create the conditions for Ger¬ many’s peaceful development. They have done this by heading Western Germany along a militarist and revenge- seeking road, by allotting it the role of the basic shock force in the aggressive designs of the North Atlantic bloc. And if today western leaders are recalling these Allied agreements, it is only because they plan to go on using them for subversion against the German Democratic Republic, the Soviet Union and other socialist states. It is only because they plan to use West Berlin as their military springboard, for which the N.A.T.O. command obviously has a definite place in its calculations. It is precisely this that is borne out by the memorandum on the juridical aspects of the Berlin situation which the U.S. State Department published the other day. This is a rather voluminous document. It has plenty of quotations and references to various agreements, letters and state¬ ments. It contains, of course, quite a lot that is right. But this goes cheek by jowl with tendentious interpretations misrepre¬ senting the truth and, in a number of a cases, with direct distortions of the facts. The State Department is trying to use this whole batch to draw lopsided conclu¬ sions, contrary to the actual facts and patently going wide of the mark. Far from helping in an understanding of the Berlin question, this document of the U.S. diplomatic office has been devised to mislead, to create by hook or by crook pretences of there being some kind of legal basis for the present occupation rule in West Berlin. It is, however, abso¬ lutely unreasonable and pointless to talk about occupation rights today almost 14 years after the end of the war, at a time when, in view of the fact that there are two sovereign German states, there are absolutely no grounds whatsoever for foreign occupation, at a time when the peoples, including the Germans, are demanding with every right that they be guaranteed normal conditions for living in peace. The statements of western leaders and also the communique the N.A.T.O. 55 Council issued the other day on the Berlin question show that attempts are being made to tie up normalisation in Berlin with Germany’s unification. More¬ over, the old programme of so-called “ free all-German elections,” which life itself cast aside long ago, has again been pulled out. It is quite plain that all this is only a trick which is being employed to avoid a solution of the acute and burning issue of Berlin. The Soviet government has emphasised already many times that nobody has any right to “unify” Germany from without, for the Germans and in place of the Germans. It has stated that the Soviet Union can have nothing to do with such schemes. Germany can be unified only through rapprochement and agreement between the two German states, the German Democratic Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany. No mechanical methods, like all-German elections, can solve this problem in the present con¬ ditions. Instead of negotiating with the Soviet Union about its Berlin proposals, the western governments considered it more appropriate to raise the question in such a body as the N.A.T.O. Council which, like the whole of this military bloc, clearly has nothing whatsoever to do with the Berlin question. For quite understandable reasons the Soviet govern¬ ment sent its Berlin proposals to the U.S.A., Britain and France. These are the states whose troops are now in West Berlin. But the Soviet government has never offered to negotiate over Berlin with either the N.A.T.O. Council or any other body in this military grouping. If the western governments are trying to pull out this question for discussion in N.A.T.O. they are thereby merely demonstrating once again their desire to turn West Berlin into one of N.A.T.O.’s bases, the creation of which, as is well known, has recently become the prime concern of those who rule the roost in this grouping. There was a time when the United States, Britain and France were our country’s allies in the joint struggle against Hitler aggression. Everyone still well remembers it. The Soviet govern¬ ment and all our people still maintain that the continuation of this co-operation in peacetime would have been in the interests of peace. But the western governments, as we know, took another course. Today we can see that they prefer to “ negotiate ” about the Berlin question with Adenauer and his colleagues, that is, with the men who in point of fact have declared themselves the successors of nazi Germany. They prefer to discuss the proposals of the U.S.S.R., their one-time ally in the anti-Hitler coalition, inside N.A.T.O., where former Hitler generals are already holding leading posts. In this connection it is necessary to single out the position of the govern¬ ment of the Federal Republic of Germany, which, both in and outside N.A.T.O., has apparently assumed the role of Enemy No. 1 to a peaceful, agreed Berlin settlement. The West German Chancellor Adenauer and his ministers let no opportunity pass to place obstacles in the way in this respect. They are literally pleading with the western powers to prevent the foreign occupation of West Berlin from being terminated. The question arises: What are the West German leaders hoping to achieve by taking such a stand? Apparently it was not without grounds that it was pointed out recently in the western press that they are interested in the continua¬ tion of the “ cold war ” because its termination would unsaddle them, because in that event their policy of hostility to peace and an international detente would be hit so hard that it would scarcely be able to get back on its feet again. In connection with the Soviet govern¬ ment’s proposals on Berlin certain generals and journalists—especially in the U.S.A.—who are somewhat loose- tongued, now and then come out with inciting statements calling for the use of force in asserting the “ right ” of the occupationists in West Berlin. They are blabbing about the need for the western powers to “ break through ” to Berlin by force of arms. But these people probably have little idea about what such actions 56 would lead to if politicians appeared who would actually follow their counsel. One must be either an ignoramus or be deliberately shutting one’s eye to reality to come out with such “ advice.” For any provocation in West Berlin, any attempt at aggressive actions against the German Democratic Republic could start a big war, in the crucible of which millions upon millions of people would perish and which would bring devasta¬ tion and losses incomparably more serious than the last world war. The flames of war would inevitably reach the American continent since, in the con¬ ditions of modern warfare, the line of demarcation between near and far theatres of war is erased. The correct¬ ness of this conclusion cannot be dis¬ puted by anyone who is familiar with the facts of the case and is not blinded by propaganda aimed at misleading the people and lulling their vigilance as regards the danger of war. Only people in their dotage could discount all this. Only such people could call for throwing the world into the abyss of a new war for the sake of preserving the occupa- tionists’ positions in West Berlin. The conversion of West Berlin, a centre of conflict and provocations, into a city where more than two million Germans may lead a peaceful and independent life, the creation of a demili¬ tarised free city of West Berlin, would be a just settlement of the Berlin ques¬ tion suggested by life itself in the present conditions. The Soviet government would sincerely like to hope that the leaders of the western powers will show statesmanship and also come to the con¬ clusion that the Soviet proposals offer a realistic basis for a settlement of the Berlin question. They could cause no harm to any of the western powers, let alone the Germans ; nor do they offer any one-sided advantages to the Soviet Union or any other state. On the con¬ trary, if these proposals were imple¬ mented, all the states would stand to gain and, above all, the universal cause of peace in Europe and all over the world would stand to gain. The Soviet government assumes that the most correct way of settling the Berlin question is the way of reasonable negotiations among the powers directly concerned. The Soviet government has put forward its specific proposals on settling the Berlin question and does not refuse to hear and discuss the consider¬ ations which the western powers might have on this score, provided these are considerations aimed at a solution of the problem and not at avoiding a solution in order to continue as before to hold sway in West Berlin as occupationists. There is hardly any need to point out that unless agreement is reached with the western powers on a co-ordinated solution of the Berlin question the Soviet Union will have no alternative but to effect the transfer to the German Democratic Republic of the functions which it has hitherto fulfilled in Berlin and on the communication lines linking it with Western Germany. That is how things are on the Berlin question, Comrades Deputies. Assertions are being made in the western countries that the U.S.S.R.’s proposals on the Berlin question are either an “ ultimatum ” or a “ Soviet threat.” The western statesmen are free, of course, to put their own interpretation on international actions, but it should be bluntly said that neither of these two assertions contains an atom of truth. The determination of the Soviet govern¬ ment to implement the contemplated measures regarding the Berlin question by no means implies a lack of desire to find a co-ordinated settlement of this problem. On the contrary, the Soviet government would like this decision to be adopted in the belief that it would correspond best of all to the task of converting Europe, a centre of devastat¬ ing wars as it was in the past, into a reliable citadel of peace and security of the nations. It is up to the western powers to speak up now. 57 Other sources of information on the Soviet Union.... 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